Health

A warning from Pa.: Get tested for hepatitis, HIV if you've been to this Slate Belt dentist

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Patients of a now-closed Slate Belt dentist should get tested for hepatitis and HIV, the Pennsylvania health department advised on Tuesday.

Dentist Palmer Cotturo, of Cotturo Dental Associates, on Aug. 23 was ordered to shut down his practice at 2094 S. Delaware Drive in Upper Mount Bethel Township because he failed to dispose of used needles and couldn’t prove he kept his office clean, according to a cease-and-desist letter later obtained by lehighvalleylive.com.

Specifically, the health department says that anyone who visited the practice or had dental procedures performed there between January 2007 and Sept. 14, 2018, should get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Patients can call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) for more information.

In September, Cotturo told lehighvalleylive.com that the surprise inspection came on a day when he wasn’t seeing patients. He said the patient care area would be properly cleaned before any patients came in the next day.

“I would never compromise the health and safety of any of my patients,” he wrote. “I would never expose any of my patients to an unsafe environment.”

Cotturo surrendered his license to the state department on Sept. 14, according to the health department. His practice’s website and phone number were no longer active as of Tuesday.

Steve Novak may be reached at snovak@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveNovakLVL and Facebook. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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