Macon Telegraph (11.12.12)
Houston Healthcare, in Warner Robins, Ga., recently sent letters to more than 400 Houston Medical Center patients suggesting they get tested for hepatitis C. The patients may have been exposed to the disease when the medical technician accused of spreading hepatitis C from contaminated syringes worked at the medical center’s heart catheterization lab. At present, he is accused of infecting more than 30 people in New Hampshire and other states where he had worked.
In the summer, letters were sent to fewer than 100 Houston Medical Center patients who might have had contact with the technician, but Houston Healthcare was encouraged to notify additional patients who were treated in an area of the medical center where he worked. Cary Martin, chief executive officer of Houston Healthcare, noted that as a result of findings in other states, public health officials recommended expansion of testing to include patients who received injectable narcotics and care in an area where the technician worked. So far, no cases of hepatitis C matching the strain under investigation have been found locally.
The traveling technician had worked at Houston Medical Center from October 25, 2010, to March 17, 2011. In addition, he had worked in several hospitals across the country where he is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs and injecting himself, thus contaminating syringes that were later used for patients.