363 Local Residents Notified of Possible Exposure to Infection

News Release – October 18, 2011

CORNWALL – 363 residents in the five Eastern Counties are among the patients who will be receiving registered letters following the investigation into a private Ottawa-area medical clinic. 

During the investigation, it was discovered that the clinic did not always follow some infection prevention and cleaning protocols. As a precaution, letters are being sent to approximately 6,800 patients who underwent endoscopic procedures at the clinic between April 2002 and June 2011. 

The clinic, operated by Dr. Christiane Farazli, is located at 1081 Carling Avenue, Suite 606.         Dr. Farazli has worked with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) during the investigation and has co-signed the letter to her patients. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has been in regular contact with OPH concerning the matter.

“Even though the risk of getting an infection is very low, patients who receive a letter should contact their physician to discuss testing,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

In fact, the risks of associated infections are believed to be less than 1 in 1 million for Hepatitis B, less than 1 in 50 million for Hepatitis C, and less than 1 in 3 billion for HIV. 

The letters include information for patients who would like to be tested. These are free blood tests and patients will need to go to a laboratory to have blood taken. If a patient would like to be tested they have several options which are outlined in the letter. 

Ottawa Public Health has established a dedicated information line for residents who have questions related to this issue. Any person who underwent endoscopy in the facility during the time period mentioned and who has not received a letter by Tuesday, October 25th should contact Ottawa Public Health.

The OPH dedicated information line’s number is 613-580-2888. 

The phone line will be available between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday). 

For additional information, please visit www.ottawa.ca/health. 

The information line was open until midnight on Tuesday, October 18 and Wednesday, October 19. 

Patients are being advised not to go to a hospital emergency department for blood testing. Hospitals will re-direct patients seeking blood tests for this issue to call OPH. 

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