NH DHHS Announces Updates in Hepatitis C Outbreak Investigation

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

(DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) today announces that

another person has tested positive for hepatitis C related to the outbreak

at Exeter Hospital. The NH Public Health Labs (PHL) confirmed that this

patient matches the strain of hepatitis C already diagnosed in 30 other

people who were treated in the Hospital’s Cardiac Catheritization Lab (CCL)

since October 1, 2010, along with one healthcare worker. This new case

received treatment in the CCL as well.

DHHS’ Emergency Services Unit (ESU) is also announcing an update on the

upcoming clinics for the newly identified group of patients recommended for

testing. The ESU activated its call center Monday morning to begin

reaching out to patients to schedule specific times for them to have their

blood drawn at various clinics being held starting on Friday. By the end

of the day, staff were able to schedule 567 appointments.

“We have worked very closely with our Regional Public Health Partners to

offer clinic settings in several locations,” said ESU Director Rick

Cricenti, “and we are reaching out to patients to determine what date and

location works best for each of them. We understand this is an anxious

time for people so we are doing everything we can to ensure this is a

smooth process for patients who are coming in to have their blood drawn for

testing. We will continue our outreach to patients in hopes of reaching

everyone who has been recommended for testing.”

The following are the dates and locations of the DPHS clinics for which

patients can schedule an appointment:

· Cooperative Middle School, 100 Academic Way, Stratham on August 10 &


· Timberlane Regional High School, 36 Greenough Rd., Plaistow on August

14 & 15

· Manchester Health Department, 1528 Elm Street, Manchester, on August

16, 17, & 18

· Rochester Middle School, 47 Brock Street, Rochester, on August 16

DPHS has sent letters to patients who are now recommended for testing for

possible exposure to hepatitis C. It includes about 3,300 people who were

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. Patients may also call (603) 271-6617 to schedule their


Other testing options are also available. These include the following


· Exeter Hospital, August 13-15, 7 AM-6 PM

You must schedule an appointment directly with Exeter Hospital by calling

(603) 580-6124 between 8:30 AM – 5 PM. As of Monday night, Exeter Hospital

had scheduled 173 patients to have their blood drawn for testing.

· Portsmouth Regional Hospital – Hampton, Monday-Thursdays, 8 AM-4 PM

· Portsmouth Regional Hospital – Pease Trade Port, Monday-Thursdays, 8


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 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 (603)


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.