NH DHHS Announces Additional Testing Sites for Exeter Hospital Patients Identified in Hepatitis C Outbreak

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is today announcing

additional sampling sites for patients identified as being at risk for

infection of hepatitis C as a result of the recent outbreak at Exeter

Hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab (CCL). These sites offer an

additional option for patients to have their blood drawn. Exeter Hospital

has been working to contact all identified patients and scheduling them for


“We have set up these additional locations in response to the public

meeting on Friday night,” said NH Public Health Director Dr. José Montero,

“where a number of people were asking if there was another option available

for blood draws.”

Starting tomorrow, June 20th, 2012, patients who received a letter from

Exeter Hospital recommending them to be tested as part of the outbreak can

go to the following two locations to have their blood drawn. Patients must

bring the letter with them to the site. The blood work will be sent to NH’s

Public Health Lab for testing. There will be no cost associated with this

testing for patients who have received a letter from Exeter Hospital.

PRH Collection Station Monday-Thursday 8 am-4 pm Closed 1-1:30 pm

55 High Street Suite 104

Hampton, NH 03842

PRH Collection Station Monday -Thursday 8 am-4 pm Closed 1-1:30 pm

Pease International Tradeport

26 Manchester Square

Portsmouth, NH 03801

To date, 829 samples have been submitted to the PHL, and 787 have been

finalized. 20 people, including 1 Exeter Hospital employee, have been

identified as part of the hepatitis C outbreak involving the CCL and its

recovery area. Anyone treated at the CCL or its recovery room on or after

October 1, 2010 through May 25, 2012, is being asked to be tested for

hepatitis C.

Once testing is complete, DPHS is contacting patients with their test

results as soon as they become available, whether positive or negative, to

improve the notification process and inform the patient on recommended next


DPHS believes the most likely explanation of this outbreak is drug

diversion but the investigation is continuing. Drug diversion is when a

person injects themselves with medications intended for patients. This can

result in transmission of infections such as Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection transmitted by blood. It causes

inflammation of the liver that can lead to chronic health issues. It is

passed from person to person through contact with an infected person’s


For questions and information about hepatitis C visit

www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/hepatitisc/index.htm  or

www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/index.htm  or call DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease

Control at 603-271-4496.