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VA official visits hospital under investigation

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – A top official with the Veterans Administration system toured a St. Louis VA hospital Tuesday.

The visit by Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Undersecretary William Schoenhard follows revelations that veterans who received dental services at the VA medical center may have been exposed to viruses. The VA said dental equipment used on patients was not washed with detergent before being sterilized.

After an internal review, the VA sent letters last week to 1,812 patients who received dental care at the John Cochran VA Medical Center. The letter stated that the risk for infection is low, but the VA offered patients free screenings as a precaution.

The VA has placed the medical center's dental chief on administrative leave as it investigates. At least one congressional committee also plans an investigation.

The House Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing July 13th in St. Louis.

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