Hep C cases linked to NH hospital worker rise

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Associated Press

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 21 at 3:07 PM

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Five more people have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C a former traveling hospital worker is accused of spreading through tainted needles. The total is now 44 in four states.

David Kwiatkowski (kwiht-KOW'-skee) is charged with stealing painkillers from New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his own blood.

Thirty-two New Hampshire patients have tested for the same strain of the liver-destroying disease he carries. A dozen other cases have emerged in states where he previously worked. He remains jailed in New Hampshire.

Maryland health officials announced four new cases Friday from Johns Hopkins Hospital. There also is one case from the Baltimore VA Medical Center, six cases in Kansas and one at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania.

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