Doc Passed Hepatitis C to 49 Abortion Patients: Cops
Women infected with same strain Aussie doctor carried
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2011 2:40 AM CDT
Health department investigators stand outside the Melbourne-area clinic where Peters worked.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – An Australian doctor infected with hepatitis C passed the disease on to at least 49 patients at the abortion clinic where he worked, police say. Anesthesiologist James Peters has been charged with dozens of counts of endangering life, negligently causing serious injury, and recklessly causing serious injury, AP reports. Investigators probing hepatitis cases at the clinic found that the women were infected with a strain of hepatitis genetically linked to the virus Latham carries.

Police have not released details on how they believe the blood-borne virus was transmitted, but a health department official says investigators found no problem with infection control procedures at the clinic. "That's precisely why, back in early last year, we referred these matters to the police for further investigation, because our investigation could find no plausible reason as to why the infection took place," the official says.