A Major Health Scare for Missouri Veterans

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A St. Louis veterans hospital may have infected thousands of its patients with HIV and hepatitis. The Department of Veterans Affairs mailed letters out to 1,812 veterans, warning them they may potentially be infected, because dental equipment "may not have been cleaned correctly" at the clinic at the John Cochran hospital.

In 2007, after reports about poor treatment and rundown conditions at Walter Reed Army Center in Washington, officials at the VA in St. Louis were working to solve similar problems. Veterans there cited long emergency room waits, poor nursing care, difficulty scheduling appointments and delays in getting services. Bogan says that the sterilization of equipment has been a problem before as well.

Jesse Bogan, a reporter for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, has been following this story, and has spoken to patients at the hospital, where he says there is an unusual calmness amongst some of them.