One of the 598 people screened by the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for Hepatitis C has tested positive for the virus, the hospital announced on Wednesday (Oct 21).
Following SGH's announcement that 22 of its renal ward patients had been infected with Hepatitis C on Oct 6, the hospital started contacting patients who were admitted from January to June 2015 to wards 64A and 67 for screening.
"The patient was hospitalised during the period of April to June 2015. We have informed the patient and family, and will arrange for an appointment with our hepatologist to advise them on the treatment options," SGH said.
Prof Fong Kok Yong, chairman of the SGH Medical Board said: “Phylogenetic studies done showed that this patient is associated with the cluster of 22 cases who were admitted to Ward 64A or Ward 67 from April to June 2015. We will provide the patient, who is currently well, and the family with our full support and ensure that the patient receives timely and appropriate care.”
The hospital has said the virus could have been a contributing factor in as many as five deaths.
SGH said that as of 6pm on Wednesday, 531 patients screened have tested negative and been informed and 66 test results are pending. A total of 299 staff have been screened and all tested negative.
The Ministry of Health has appointed an independent review committee to take a critical look at how the cluster could have happened.
SGH said it has yet to determine the cause of the cluster infection after initial internal investigation. It has taken measures to tighten its protocols in handling treatment and medication for patients.
On Tuesday, SGH said it had filed a police report to ascertain if foul play was involved.