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Health Highlights: March 29, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Tulsa Dentist's Patients Told to Get Tested for Hepatitis, HIV

About 7,000 patients of an Oklahoma dentist are being told to get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Health officials made the announcement Thursday after learning that instruments at W. Scott Harrington's clinics in Tulsa and suburban Owasso weren't properly cleaned, even though the dentist knew that several of his patients had infectious diseases, the Associated Press reported.

An investigation was launched after officials received a complaint against Harrington.

"It's uncertain how long those practices have been in place," Kaitlin Snider, a spokeswoman for the Tulsa Health Department, told the AP. "He's been practicing for 36 years."

She said letters offering free testing would be sent Friday to 7,000 patients who went to the dentist's two clinics since 2007. Harrington has closed his practice and his case will go before the state dental board on April 19. He could lose his license.


NYC Appeals Ruling on Supersized Sugary-Drink Ban

New York City has filed an appeal in an attempt to get its ban on supersized sodas and other sugary drinks reinstated.

The first-of-its-kind rule to prohibit many eateries from selling larger than 16-ounce servings of sugary beverages was struck down by a Manhattan judge on March 11, the day before the ban was to take effect, the Associated Press reported.

City officials say the ban on supersized sugary drinks will help fight obesity. Beverage companies and other opponents say the law is unfair because it would exempt some high-calorie drinks and certain retailers, including convenience stores and supermarkets. Opponents also say the city's Board of Health exceeded its authority in passing the ban, the AP reported.

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Posted: March 2013