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Campaign warns against reusing plastic syringes

AP/Yahoo News, February 6, 2009
Patients who got hepatitis from contaminated syringes and medicine vials are joining infection control advocates to warn Americans about the problem. A recent federal study found more than 60,000 people were exposed to hepatitis, and at least 400 people were infected with it in 33 outbreaks linked with blatant safety violations. The report covered the period from 1998 to 2008, and many of the cases involved reuse of syringes: Health workers likely thought they were being safe by discarding the syringes' used needles and snapping on sterile ones. They were apparently unaware that the plastic barrel part of a syringe can become contaminated, and reusing it even with a fresh needle also can contaminate the medicine vial.