NH hepatitis outbreak widens to 31 patients

Posted Aug. 07, 2012, at 5:35 p.m.
This undated photo provided  by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Hampshire shows David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at Exeter, N.H., Hospital, arrested at a hospital in Massachusetts where he is receiving medical treatment.  Kwiatkowski, originally from Michigan, was charged Thursday, July 19, 2012, with causing a hepatitis C outbreak involving at least 30 patients who were treated at Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab.
U.S. Attorney's Office | AP
This undated photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Hampshire shows David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at Exeter, N.H., Hospital, arrested at a hospital in Massachusetts where he is receiving medical treatment. Kwiatkowski, originally from Michigan, was charged Thursday, July 19, 2012, with causing a hepatitis C outbreak involving at least 30 patients who were treated at Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab.

CONCORD, N.H. — The number of people suspected of being infected with hepatitis C by a former lab worker in New Hampshire has increased to 31.

David Kwiatkowski (quit-COW’-skee) was charged last month with stealing drugs from Exeter Hospital’s cardiac lab and contaminating syringes that were used on patients. On Tuesday, the state said another former lab patient has been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries, in addition to the previously known 30 cases.

After initially asking only cardiac lab patients to get tested, the state now recommends that some 3,300 people who underwent surgery or were admitted to the intensive care unit during Kwiatkowski’s employment. Clinics are being held around the state this month.

Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician, worked in at least 18 hospitals in eight states.

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