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Hepatitis | Doctor Accused Of Infecting Patients With Hepatitis C

SYDNEY – Nearly 50 women have been infected with hepatitis C at an abortion clinic in Australia , and now a 61-year-old anesthesiologist who worked at the Melbourne facility is charged with endangering their lives.

The doctor, who has not been identified, was charged with 54 counts each, of conduct endangering life, negligently causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury. The most serious charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

The charges relate to 49 patients at the clinic who health officials say contracted the same strain of hepatitis C as the doctor between 2008 and 2009. The doctor, whose name has not been released by police, was expected to appear in court later Friday.

Hepatitis C can cause serious liver problems, including cirrhosis and cancer. It is spread through the blood.

Police have not released details on how they believe the disease was transmitted. But Bram Alexander, a spokesman for the Victoria state Department of Health, said officials with the

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