Three Philadelphia dental practices - clinics on 437 West Chew Avenue, 5427 North 5th Street, and 6536 Woodland Avenue - were closed after officials determined they had unsanitary conditions and may have exposed up to 1500 patients to diseases, including HIV.
"The sterilization and handling of used instruments on patients was not being cleaned appropriately or in a timely fashion, Dr. Steven Alles, the Director of Disease Control with the Philadelphia Health Department, said to media. The Health Department believes the risk of infection is low but urged patients who attended these clinics between January 1, 2017 and December 7, 2018 to get tested for hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus and HIV. It is not aware of any infections as a result of the practices.
The Health Department has notified all patients. They are encouraged to call (215) 218-2999 between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday for more info, if needed. The Health Department has been training staff on infection control practices and re-educating them. The three clinics will not be allowed to reopen until the health department is satisfied that all unsafe practices have been remedied.