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St. Louis VA patients get letter of warning

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 30, 2010

The Department of Veterans Affairs is warning hundreds of veterans that they may have been exposed to viruses from dental work performed at the St. Louis VA Medical Center. The federal agency said it was mailing letters to 1,812 veterans treated during a 13-month period ending in March at the clinic at its John Cochran hospital. The letters say the risk of infection is low but offer free blood testing to screen for the hepatitis B virus, the hepatitis C virus and for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection. The VA letter said that dental equipment "may not have been cleaned correctly."