NH DHHS - Plan Announced for Expanded Testing of Patients Related to the Hepatitis C Outbreak

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

(DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), the Emergency Services

Unit (ESU), and Regional Public Health Coordinators today announced the

plan for testing the expanded list of patients in relation to the hepatitis

C outbreak at Exeter Hospital.

“We recognize that people are anxiously waiting to hear about how and when

they can get tested,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “It did take

a little bit longer than we had hoped to iron out how this new testing plan

would work, and we do appreciate everyone’s patience in this process. We

have worked very closely with our regional public health partners to come

up with a plan that will provide patients options to have their blood drawn

for testing in an efficient manner.”

The patients to be tested for possible exposure to hepatitis C in this new

group is estimated at about 3,300 people. It includes anyone treated in

Exeter Hospital’s Main Operating Rooms (excluding the outpatient surgery

center) and the Intensive Care Unit between April 1, 2011 and May 25, 2012.

The plan involves several options for patients to have their blood drawn

for testing. DPHS started sending letters to these patients today detailing

options, and will also be calling each patient to set up a time for them to

come to the testing site of their choice.

The following table includes the dates and locations of the DPHS clinics

that patients will be able to choose from.

Location | Address | Dates


Cooperative Middle School | 100 Academic Way | August 10 & 11

| Stratham |


Timberlane Regional High | 36 Greenough Road | August 14 & 15

School | Plaistow |


Manchester Health Department | 1528 Elm Street | August 16, 17 & 18

| Manchester |


Rochester Middle School | 47 Brock Street | August 16

| Rochester |

Other testing options are also available. These include the following


Exeter Hospital, August 13-15, 8:30 AM-5 PM

You must schedule an appointment directly with Exeter Hospital by calling


Portsmouth Regional Hospital – Hampton, Monday-Thursdays, 8


Portsmouth Regional Hospital – Pease Trade Port,

Monday-Thursdays, 8 AM-4 PM

For the Hampton and Pease sites, no appointment is necessary, but you will

be asked to provide this letter and proper identification.

As always, patients also have the option of going to their own healthcare

provider to have their blood drawn. The healthcare provider then needs to

coordinate with the Public Health Lab for the testing by calling


“We know patients want to get their results as soon as possible, so one of

the advantages of the public clinics is that we can offer the rapid test

along with the traditional blood draw,” said NH State Epidemiologist Dr.

Sharon Alroy-Preis. “The rapid test will be offered at the Cooperative

Middle School, Timberlane Regional High School, the Manchester Health

Department, and the Rochester Middle School.”

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

www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/index.htm  for questions and information about this

investigation and hepatitis C. Or call DPHS’ Bureau of Infectious Disease

Control at 603-271-4496.