NH DHHS Announces an Additional Case of Hepatitis C Related to Exeter Hospital Investigation

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

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

additional results related to the testing of patients who had been treated

at Exeter Hospital’s Cardiac Catheritization Lab (CCL) between October 1,

2010 and May 25, 2012. DPHS is confirming another matching case of a

patient who underwent a procedure in the CCL. The CCL procedure date for

this patient occurred prior to the date Exeter Hospital reported as the

first day of employment for the former employee suspected of drug diversion

in this case. However, the suspect did begin working at Exeter Hospital

prior to the patient’s discharge from the hospital.

“As we have stated previously, this is a complex investigation with many

moving pieces,” said NH State Epidemiologist Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis. “This

is yet another new development and as we have done thus far, we will

continue to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding this

infection. Part of that will include determining if the former healthcare

worker might have infected this patient during the time they were both at

the hospital. To rule out that any other staff was involved we have

recommended testing of certain Exeter Hospital employees. At this point in

time we are not recommending any further testing of patients beyond those

that were already identified as having been treated in the Cath Lab, the OR

or the ICU.”

This latest case brings the total number of people connected with the

outbreak to 33, which includes the former Exeter Hospital healthcare

worker. To date DPHS has tested 1,066 CCL patients. Patients who were

treated in the Hospital’s Main Operating Rooms (excluding the outpatient

surgery center) or the Intensive Care Unit between April 1, 2011 and May

25, 2012 are currently undergoing testing for possible exposure to

hepatitis C.

Public Health Clinics are being held for patients who fit the above

criteria today at Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, Thursday at

the Rochester Middle School in Rochester, and Thursday, Friday and Saturday

at the Manchester Health Department.

For questions and information about hepatitis C visit the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis , the DHHS

website at www.dhhs.nh.gov , or call the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease

Control at 603-271-4496.