6 reported cases of hepatitis C leads to investigation of clinic on Miracle Mile

MIRACLE MILE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hundreds of letters are being mailed out to people who could have been exposed to hepatitis C while seeking treatment at a clinic on Miracle Mile.

The sign outside Westside Multi-Specilaty Group, a medical clinic located at 6200 Wilshire Boulevard on the 12th floor of a high-rise, says they're closed for renovations. The office belongs to a nurse practitioner who told Eyewitness News the renovations have nothing to do with an ongoing investigation by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The department identified six acute cases of hepatitis C in patients seen at the clinic, but haven't determined how the condition was transmitted.

"We do know that they have done procedures in terms of giving injections or infusions or other procedures that, you know, could put somebody at risk," said Dr. Muntu Davis of the health department.

Besides the procedures from the clinic, those infected have not reported other forms of blood-to-blood contact, which is how you get hepatitis C.

Public Health has sent 500 letters to anyone who was treated at the office between January 2016 and December 2018. The health department says the clinic was closed voluntarily.

Hepatitis C causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to serious liver damage and even liver failure.

"If you did receive care at this clinic, we want you to be aware of the potential exposure to hepatitis C and recommend that you get tested," Davis said.

But the lawyer representing Westside Multi-Specialty Group told Eyewitness News his client is not at fault.

"We're talking about six instances that I don't think they'll ever be able to show or demonstrate causation that goes back to the provider," said lawyer Richard Moss.

Moss said there is no proof this is an ongoing problem, and sending out hundreds of letters was unnecessary.

"This is overreaching by the government to magnify a problem, which may be a valid problem, but all of a sudden to go out to a patient base of 500?," Moss added.

If you think you've been exposed to hepatitis C, county health says that you should also be tested for hepatitis B and HIV because all three are transmitted the same way.

The good news is treatment is available, and the six people affected are doing well.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.