Efforts underway to prevent hepatitis C outbreaks

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The criminal case of a traveling medical technician who infected dozens of patients with hepatitis C through tainted syringes is pushing individual hospitals, state lawmakers and federal officials to close the loopholes he exploited.

David Kwiatkowski was sentenced last week to 39 years in prison. He has admitted stealing painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood. He had worked as a cardiac technologist in seven states before being hired in New Hampshire in 2011, moving from job to job despite being fired numerous times over drug allegations.

Joseph Perz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Kwiatkowski helped unmask a problem that was a growing concern for the CDC and has added momentum to broader drug diversion prevention efforts.

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