Pierced ears lead to hepatitis tests

Complications from ear piercings at a Napier store has led to seven people being tested for hepatitis.

Seven people -- most of them teenage girls -- developed serious ear infections with abscesses needing to be cut open and drained, after being pierced at Trendez in February, Hawke's Bay Today reported today.

Hawke's Bay District Health Board and Napier City Council investigated after the series of infections came to light.

"There were deficiencies in the operator's sterile procedures that could cause the transfer of skin infection from one client to another," medical officer of health Dr Nicholas Jones said.

Trendez owner Nick Turner said there was nothing wrong with the sterilisation and procedures in his store, though the inspections had led to replacing some benches, and reorganising equipment.

"Some people just don't follow the recommended guidelines like cleaning with the correct solutions or not touching [new piercings] and cross-contaminating the bacteria."

He had never had a cluster of infections occur before, Mr Turner said.

"I have never had anything but good relations with the health boards in Napier and all over New Zealand, I am confident in our piercing and sterilisation procedures."




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