Cockroach-Infested Beauty Cthanlinic Shut Down Amid Hepatitis, HIV Fears
Hundreds of people are being warned about Hepatitis and HIV after undergoing procedures carried out by an unlicensed and untrained 'beauty therapist' operating at the back of a jewellery store.
Authorities launched an investigation in May after receiving multiple reports of people leaving the Springvale Shopping Centre store with blood on their faces.
An inspection found that not only was the Sonoun Kimlee Salon -- operating out of the back of a jewellery store -- not registered, but it also lacked basic hygiene.
"It wasn't clear if things were only used once and there appeared to be no evidence of cleaning and disinfection," Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.
"There were cockroaches on medical equipment and it was pretty evident that the risk of the infection was pretty substantial".
The store, which had been open for 18 months, was immediately shut down.
"This is one of the worst we have seen in terms of the practices and certainly one of the greatest risks for transmission of infection," Sutton confirmed.
The health department has contacted 68 of 122 names kept in a record book on the premises, but there are fears dozens more people not on the ledger could potentially be at risk of health concerns.
Anyone who has been to the dodgy clinic is being urged to go to their local GP immediately to get tested for Hepatitis B, C and HIV.
"There are no reports to date of clients becoming unwell from visiting the salon. The risk of contracting hepatitis B and C are moderate. The risk is low for HIV," the health department advised.
"Infectious diseases aren't the only concern with cosmetic procedures, this particular place did tattooing, fillers, skin cutting for skin tightening and there was really no care in respect to infection control," Sutton said.
"The other danger is that you can damage structures, people can be permanently disfigured by practitioners who are untrained, blindness can occur and people can have allergic reactions."
The clinic was operated by Lee Kim Tan and most of her clients were of Cambodian or Vietnamese background, the Health Complaints Commissioner confirmed.
It is believed she was the only person working out of the make-shift salon and had received basic cosmetic training but no infection training.
Sutton suggested her equipment and fillers may have been brought in from overseas against customs regulations.
Tan's Facebook page shows dozens of photos, appearing to show before and after shots of people undergoing beauty treatments. It is unclear whether these procedures were actually carried out at the clinic or by Tan herself.
While no clients have come forward with reports of illnesses after treatment at the clinic, Sutton said there was still a risk of contracting hepatitis B, C and HIV.
He has called for anyone who suspects a dodgy surgery, has been to one or has been harmed in one, to contact their local council.
"We really want people to help us to crack down on these practitioners who are not registered with council and who are untrained".
He encouraged people to check the online Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency database if they think someone is falsely claiming to be a medical practitioner.