Okla. may broaden tests if dentist spread disease

AP News
Posted: Apr 04, 2013 3:36 PM

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma officials alarmed by conditions inside an oral surgeon's office will consider medical tests for his patients' spouses and sex partners if lab results show anyone contracted hepatitis or HIV from his clinic.

While it is rare for infections to spread in a dental practice, an American Dental Association expert says tests for Dr. W. Scott Harrington's 7,000 patients are appropriate. The Tulsa health board said Thursday that if anyone tests positive, it could recommend tests for spouses and others.

But infection control expert John Molinari of Ann Arbor, Mich., also says that because Harrington treated some disease-carriers, a positive result from recent tests would not necessarily mean the virus was spread at Harrington's office.

Harrington's attorney issued a statement saying the oral surgeon had an "impeccable" record with regulators.