CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateUNITED STATES: Maryland Confirms First Hepatitis C Case Linked to Arrested Med Tech
November 7, 2012
Baltimore Sun (11.05.12)
Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that molecular testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a blood specimen, revealed that the patient's hepatitis C infection is “closely related” to other infections in the outbreak in New Hampshire. As a result of the New Hampshire outbreak, hospitals and other facilities where the medical technician had worked have been testing patients who were treated at the time he was employed at their facility.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court, the technician had hepatitis C and routinely injected himself with drugs meant for patients and swapped the prepared syringes with similar ones he had used. Patients were then injected with contaminated syringes by unsuspecting colleagues. The Maryland patient had been treated at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs medical center. His attorney has notified the US Department of Veterans Affairs of their intention to file a claim for damages.
Hospitals in Maryland have identified and begun testing more than 1,700 patients who had come into contact with the technician. He had worked at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, Southern Maryland Hospital, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Maryland General Hospital. Investigations are in process at all four hospitals and more testing is expected. Meantime, the health department is reviewing regulations for traveling medical technicians and other personnel in the state.