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January 2, 2014

Devastating tornadoes named Oklahoma’s top story



At the end of March, health officials announced that unsanitary conditions at a Tulsa oral surgeon’s office may have exposed at least 7,000 of his patients to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Dr. W. Scott Harrington, a Tulsa native who had been practicing in the area for more than 30 years, voluntarily halted his practice and now faces a hearing before the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry in 2014. Health officials said Harrington’s office used rusted, unclean equipment and poor infection-control procedures. More than 4,200 patients were tested at local health departments. Of those, 90 tested positive for hepatitis C, six for hepatitis B and four for HIV.
One case of hepatitis C was linked to Harrington’s practice. It is the first known case of patient-to-patient transmission of the disease in a dental setting in the United States. Hepatitis B and HIV cases could not be linked to Harrington’s practice.
—Shannon Muchmore, Tulsa World
Oklahoma is known more for its tornadoes than its earthquakes but a swarm of temblors continued in 2013 in the Sooner state, rattling nerves, and in some cases, doing minor damage.
The biggest of the year was a 4.5-magnitude quake that shook the Oklahoma City area on the afternoon of Dec. 7. 
It was one of the largest in the state’s history. Since 2009, more than 200 magnitude-3.0 or greater earthquakes have hit the state’s midsection, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists are not sure why seismic activity has spiked, but multiple studies are underway. 
The large quake was centered about four miles northwest of Jones, just east of Arcadia Lake. It was felt in Edmond, Guthrie, Norman and Oklahoma City.
Dan Barth, chief information officer for OPUBCO Communications Group, was watching the Bedlam football game on television at his home near Jones when the earthquake rumbled.
The strongest earthquake on record in Oklahoma was a magnitude-5.6 earthquake on Nov. 5, 2011.
—Rick Green, The Oklahoman

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