Ten people have tested positive for hepatitis after they were exposed to contaminated colonoscopy equipment, the U.S. Veterans Affairs department said Friday.
The 10 are among thousands of patients told to get blood tests after having colonoscopies at VA facilities in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Miami and Augusta, Ga. The equipment at those facilities wasn't properly sterilized between procedures, the Associated Press reported.
Four patients have tested positive for hepatitis B, and six have tested positive for hepatitis C, which can cause permanent liver damage and is potentially life-threatening.
The patients will receive treatment from the VA even though it hasn't been confirmed that their infections were the result of the unclean colonoscopy equipment, said VA spokeswoman Katie Roberts, the AP reported.