Hospitals in at least eight states want to know how many hundreds or thousands of their patients have come in contact with a lab technician accused of spreading hepatitis C.
The man, David Kwiatkowski, has the disease, which can pass through contact with contaminated blood, most often via shared needles. Authorities say the Michigan native injected himself with painkillers meant for patients when he worked at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire and left the syringes for reuse.
He was arrested this month in connection with spreading the disease at Exeter and has been charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. He is suspected of stealing fentanyl, a powerful analgesic that is substantially more potent than morphine, the affidavit said.
Thirty Exeter patients have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C that Kwiatkowski has. Now, officials want to be sure that outbreak has not spread past New England.
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