Nevada health officials said Thursday that they had identified 77 new cases of hepatitis C among patients treated at a Las Vegas endoscopy practice, in one of the country’s largest outbreaks of the liver disease.
The officials had previously identified seven cases of the disease linked to the gastroenterology practice, one of the largest in southern Nevada, and a single case in one of the practice’s sister clinics. The infections were caused, they said, by the reuse of anesthesia syringes among multiple patients.
The practice had not received a full inspection since 2001, although state policies dictate that ambulatory surgical centers be reviewed every three years. The licensing agency has blamed the delay on insufficient financing for inspectors.