Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), the Emergency Services Unit (ESU), and Regional Public Health Coordinators today announced the plan for testing the expanded list of patients in relation to the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital.
“We recognize that people are anxiously waiting to hear about how and when they can get tested,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “It did take a little bit longer than we had hoped to iron out how this new testing plan would work, and we do appreciate everyone’s patience in this process. We have worked very closely with our regional public health partners to come up with a plan that will provide patients options to have their blood drawn for testing in an efficient manner.”
The patients to be tested for possible exposure to hepatitis C in this new group is estimated at about 3,300 people. It includes anyone treated in Exeter Hospital’s Main Operating Rooms (excluding the outpatient surgery center) and the Intensive Care Unit between April 1, 2011 and May 25, 2012.
The plan involves several options for patients to have their blood drawn for testing. DPHS started sending letters to these patients today detailing options, and will also be calling each patient to set up a time for them to come to the testing site of their choice.
The following table includes the dates and locations of the DPHS clinics that patients will be able to choose from.
|Cooperative Middle School||100 Academic Way
|August 10 & 11|
|Timberlane Regional High School||36 Greenough Road
|August 14 & 15|
|Manchester Health Department||1528 Elm Street
|August 16, 17 & 18|
|Rochester Middle School||47 Brock Street
Other testing options are also available. These include the following locations:
- Exeter Hospital, August 13-15, 8:30 AM-5 PM
You must schedule an appointment directly with Exeter Hospital by calling 603-580-6124.
- Portsmouth Regional Hospital – Hampton, Monday-Thursdays, 8 AM-4 PM
- Portsmouth Regional Hospital – Pease Trade Port, Monday-Thursdays, 8 AM-4 PM
For the Hampton and Pease sites, no appointment is necessary, but you will be asked to provide this letter and proper identification.
As always, patients also have the option of going to their own healthcare provider to have their blood drawn. The healthcare provider then needs to coordinate with the Public Health Lab for the testing by calling 603-271-4661.
“We know patients want to get their results as soon as possible, so one of the advantages of the public clinics is that we can offer the rapid test along with the traditional blood draw,” said NH State Epidemiologist Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis. “The rapid test will be offered at the Cooperative Middle School, Timberlane Regional High School, the Manchester Health Department, and the Rochester Middle School.”
Visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/hepatitisc/index.htm or www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/index.htm for questions and information about this investigation and hepatitis C. Or call DPHS’ Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.