NILES, Mich. — If you've recently had a piercing done at a certain local tattoo parlor, you may want to take a blood test as soon as possible.
That's according to officials with the Berrien County Health Department, who say customers that have recently visited Paparazzi Tattoo & Body Piercing in Niles may have been exposed to the blood of other customers.
Officials say anyone who has ever had a piercing of their navel, tongue, nipples, or genitals at the shop could be at increased risk for possible exposure to bloodborne pathogens, due to the improper sterilization of metal forceps used at the business.
Individuals who received any one of the listed piercings are recommended to receive blood tests for hepatitis B and C, as well as for HIV. Customers who had only their ears or nose pierced exclusively are not at risk.
Testing can be sought through a primary health care provider, or by visiting the health department's offices in Niles on Tuesdays and Thursdays or their offices in Benton Harbor on Mondays and Thursdays.
No cases of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV associated with Paparazzi Tattoo have been identified so far, but health officials say symptoms of the diseases may not surface for years.
For more information, call the health department's hotline at 1-800-815-5485 or visit their website at www.bchdmi.org.