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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

17 Babies, 5 Adults Infected with HIV

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Seventeen babies and five adults have contracted HIV through infected blood transfusions in Kyrgyzstan, a senior health official said Friday.

Sagynaly Mamatov, head of the state AIDS watchdog, said transfusions took place in a number of hospitals in the south of the country.

"We have discovered a total of 22 HIV-infected people in the Osh region," he said. "That is, 17 children up to 2 years old, four of their mothers and one medical worker."

The exact source of the infection has been difficult to identify since the first HIV-diagnosed child had been hospitalized 12 times in various medical centers, the Health Ministry said.

The health minister has fired four medical officials, including the heads of the Osh region's children's hospital and blood transfusion center.

Last year, more than 100 children were infected through blood transfusions in neighbouring Kazakhstan. Ten babies have died.

Reuters, AP