Patients infected with hepatitis C number 60

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Patients infected with hepatitis C number 60

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday that the number of people infected with hepatitis C after being treated at a clinic in Yangcheon District, southwestern Seoul, has jumped to 60 people.

This is 15 patients more than the previous day, and health authorities say the number is expected to increase as they are only a fifth of the way through reviewing people treated at the same clinic.

On Friday, the CDC initially revealed that 18 people treated at the Dana Clinic in Sinjeong-dong were infected by the blood-borne HCV virus that can infect the liver and cause complications such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Health authorities launched a full-scale review of all patients treated at the clinic since it first opened in 2008.

The CDC said that it has so far only reviewed 20 percent or some 450 of the 2,269 patients who were treated at Dana Clinic and are at possible risk of having been exposed to the virus.

All patients infected with the virus had received intravenous injections at the clinic.

CDC officials said they believe the clinic reused needles.

Sharing needles and syringes is the most common way HCV is transmitted.

The incubation period for HCV is up to 150 days.

However, patients can remain symptom-free for a long time and be unaware of their infection.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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