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Letter alleging hospital outbreak lists fake disease
NGMC says claims are 'fraudulent'
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A fraudulent letter making claims about a disease outbreak at Northeast Georgia Medical Center has been posted on the doors of several local businesses.

Director of Public Relations at NGMC Cathy Bowers said the letter warning about an outbreak of a disease at the hospital is "completely fraudulent."

Bowers said no single part of the letter was factual. Even the disease listed was fake.

"The disease the person named isn't even a disease," Bowers said.

The letter, complete with a company's letterhead, said there was an outbreak of "Fungal Tuberculosis" in January of 2011.

"There isn't a fungal TB and there has been no outbreak of TB," Bowers said.

The hospital found out about the letter on Monday. Bowers said initially it was thought to be an isolated incident, until it was learned that businesses around town had the letter posted on windows and doors.

"It was primarily around some of the areas around the square," Bowers said.

Hospital security has reported the incident to local authorities.

Officer Kevin Holbrook, public information officer with the Gainesville Police Department, said charges have not been filed and investigators are still looking into the case.

"Anytime someone raises public harm of this nature, issues false statements, attempts to cause public safety issues, we take that very seriously," Holbrook said.

Any charges won't be known until the investigation is complete, but could be deemed criminal or civil depending on the intent behind the letter.

Bowers said the hospital will not release the content of the letter because specific employees are named in the false letter.

 

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