1st Victim of Las Vegas Hepatitis C Outbreak Dies

August 2, 2012

A 2007 hepatitis C outbreak in southern Nevada has claimed its first victim.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports 77-year-old Rodolfo Meana died in the Philippines April 27. His attorney, Nia Killebrew, says he’d been suffering from kidney failure and cirrhosis believed to be directly tied to hepatitis.

He’d returned to his homeland weeks earlier.

Meana’s case was one of seven that was genetically linked to Dr. Dipak Desai’s Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.

The 62-year-old gastroenterologist and two of his nurse anesthetists are charged in a 28-count indictment alleging felony neglect, racketeering and insurance fraud. They’re set for trial in October.

Prosecutors say Desai’s clinics used unsafe injection practices to save money.

Meana’s death could opens up the prospect of even tougher charges, such as murder, in the case.

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