Lab tech accused of N.H. hepatitis C outbreak worked in Mich.

Lab tech accused of N.H. hepatitis C outbreak worked in Mich.

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David Kwiatkowski, in an undated photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Hampshire David Kwiatkowski, in an undated photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Hampshire
(WJBK) -

A Michigan native is accused of spreading hepatitis C to hundreds or possibly thousands of people.

His name is David Kwiatkowski and he used to work at Oakwood Hospital in Trenton, Mich.

According to authorities, while working at a hospital lab in New Hampshire, Kwiatkowski injected himself with painkillers meant for patients and then left the syringes for the hospital to re-use. The disease can pass through contaminated blood.

He was arrested earlier this month and charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product. Thirty patients from the New Hampshire's Exeter hospital have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C as Kwiatkowski.

He worked as a traveling medical technician for hospitals in MIchigan and five other states.

Hepatitis C can go undetected until it causes liver damage.

Officials initially recommended testing for anyone who had been treated at the lab since October 2010. Testing now is recommended for anyone who had surgery or was admitted to the intensive care unit from April 1, 2011, to May 25, 2012.

On Thursday, officials at Oakwood Hospital released the following statement:

Oakwood Annapolis Hospital received information from the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) concerning a lab technician implicated as the source of a Hepatitis C outbreak in a New Hampshire hospital.

The technician previously worked at several hospitals across the country, including Annapolis Hospital in Wayne and is believed to have been employed by other hospitals in the state of Michigan.

A review of our records shows the technologist was employed from Jan. to Sept. 2007; however, there is no indication this technician had Hepatitis C during his employment or that any patients contracted the disease as a result of his employment. In addition, he participated in at least two drug tests during his tenure, both of which showed negative results for illicit drug use.

Public health investigations are underway in multiple states, including Michigan. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our staff and patients and we are cooperating fully with authorities in this matter.

Because this is an ongoing investigation by both public health officials and the federal government the Michigan Department of Community Health has told us they will handle this matter for the entire state of Michigan and we've been asked to refer all additional questions on this matter to them.

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