NH Public Health Officials Announce Update in Hepatitis C Investigation

Concord, NH – In a press release issued earlier today, the United States

Attorney’s Office announced the arrest of a former employee of Exeter

Hospital in connection with the hepatits C outbreak. The New Hampshire

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Public Health

Services (DPHS), in the course of its investigation has learned that the

healthcare worker suspected of drug diversion at Exeter Hospital worked in

other states prior to his employment in New Hampshire. Early in the

investigation, DPHS identified drug diversion as the likely cause of the

outbreak at the Hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab (CCL) that has so

far resulted in the infection of 30 patients in addition to the Exeter

Hospital employee.

DPHS has been working in coordination with many partners, including health

departments in several other states, the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention (CDC), the NH Attorney General’s Office and the US Attorney’s

Office. “This investigation has taken many turns and is still an on-going

investigation,” said NH Public Health Director Dr. Jose Montero. “We know

that this healthcare worker was employed as a “traveler,” working through

an agency in healthcare facilities on temporary assignments. We’ve been

coordinating efforts with the other states where this healthcare worker

previously worked and the CDC."

In the State of NH, DPHS continues to test individuals, conduct interviews

and gather data to assure that all potentially exposed patients are

notified and tested. Current recommendations for testing have not changed

yet but the investigation is on going.

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


Patients who were treated in Exeter’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab (CCL) or

its recovery room between October 1, 2010 and May 25, 2012 have been asked

to be tested for potential exposure to hepatitis C. Any patients who fit

the above criteria and have not yet been tested can contact Exeter

Hospital’s Information and Referral Center at (603) 580-6124.

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. Any inquiries about the criminal investigation

should be addressed to the NH Attorney General’s Office at 271-3658.