Three claimants in Farazli suit learn they have Hep. C
The door name and number for Dr.Christian Farazli's clinic in the Parkdale Medical Tower is shown in Ottawa on Monday, October 17, 2011. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Three patients of a doctor who may have performed thousands of procedures with improperly cleaned equipment have learned they have tested positive for Hepatitis C.
The Merchant Law Group said four claimants in the $20 million class-action lawsuit against Dr. Christiane Farazli tested positive for Hepatitis C after being prompted to get checked by the city's health office.
Three of them said they didn't know they had it until that test came back.
The tests don't determine where the disease was contracted, but the family of one of the four said they have a good guess.
"We belive there is a strong chance this could have happned in Farazli's clinic," said Carlos Martinez, whose father tested positive for Hepatitis C. "The letter was a shock because dad was infected with Hepatitis C in late 2002."
The city sent letters to each of her patients who had a colonoscopy or endoscopy between April 2002 and June 2011 warning them of the potential for infection.
Dr. Farazli is in the centre of an infection scare after Ottawa Public Health said around 6,800 people were at risk of infection with Hepatitis B, C and HIV/AIDS.
The news came after an inspection showed cleaning procedures weren't always followed.
Dr. Isra Levy from Ottawa Public Health wrote a letter to city council Wednesday saying about 3,400 people have undergone blood tests so far.
He said while the risk of getting infected from this clinic is very low, the diseases themselves are fairly common - as such, he said he expected some positive results to come back.
The difficult part would be to determine where they got infected, and Dr. Levy said they would be doing an in-depth examination of the history of those patients to determine where they could have been exposed to the infection.
They said the risk of contracting Hepatitis B was one in a million, Hepatitis C was one in 50 million and HIV/AIDS was one in three billion.
Dr. Farazli is currently under investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Claudia Cautillo