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MARYLAND HEP C CASE RELATED TO SIMILAR CASES UNDER INVESTIGATION

 

Baltimore, MD (November 5, 2012) -- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today announced the results of special molecular testing done at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a blood specimen from a patient of the Baltimore VA Medical Center with hepatitis C infection.  The special testing indicates that the Maryland patient’s infection is closely related to infections linked to David Kwiatkowski, a healthcare worker accused of diverting narcotics for personal use.
 
The Maryland patient was among the approximately 1,700 patients of four Maryland healthcare facilities who had been notified to get tested for hepatitis C infection because they had undergone procedures in which Mr. Kwiatkowski was potentially involved. The Maryland patient has survived and is not currently hospitalized. DHMH will provide no additional information about the patient.
 
This case is associated with the multi-state hepatitis C outbreak.  Although no documented incidents of drug diversion associated with the healthcare worker were reported to DHMH, this finding suggests the possibility that such activity might have occurred in Maryland. The investigation into the possibility of cases at the three other facilities where Mr. Kwiatkowski worked (Johns Hopkins Hospital, MD General Hospital and Southern MD Hospital Center) is ongoing. Additional test results are expected later this year.
 
Additional related infections have been identified in New Hampshire and Kansas.
 
DHMH is leading a review of any systemic vulnerabilities that may be present in Maryland in order to prevent any such disease transmission.   A full review report with recommendations for improvements is expected by early 2013.
 
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