August 7, 2012
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) today announces that another person has tested positive for hepatitis C related to the outbreak at Exeter Hospital. The NH Public Health Labs (PHL) confirmed that this patient matches the strain of hepatitis C already diagnosed in 30 other people who were treated in the Hospital’s Cardiac Catheritization Lab (CCL) since October 1, 2010, along with one healthcare worker. This new case received treatment in the CCL as well.
DHHS’ Emergency Services Unit (ESU) is also announcing an update on the upcoming clinics for the newly identified group of patients recommended for testing. The ESU activated its call center Monday morning to begin reaching out to patients to schedule specific times for them to have their blood drawn at various clinics being held starting on Friday. By the end of the day, staff were able to schedule 567 appointments.
“We have worked very closely with our Regional Public Health Partners to offer clinic settings in several locations,” said ESU Director Rick Cricenti, “and we are reaching out to patients to determine what date and location works best for each of them. We understand this is an anxious time for people so we are doing everything we can to ensure this is a smooth process for patients who are coming in to have their blood drawn for testing. We will continue our outreach to patients in hopes of reaching everyone who has been recommended for testing.”
The following are the dates and locations of the DPHS clinics for which patients can schedule an appointment:
- Cooperative Middle School, 100 Academic Way, Stratham on August 10 & 11
- Timberlane Regional High School, 36 Greenough Rd., Plaistow on August 14 & 15
- Manchester Health Department, 1528 Elm Street, Manchester, on August 16, 17, & 18
- Rochester Middle School, 47 Brock Street, Rochester, on August 16
DPHS has sent letters to patients who are now recommended for testing for possible exposure to hepatitis C. It includes about 3,300 people who were 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. Patients may also call (603) 271-6617 to schedule their appointment.
Other testing options are also available. These include the following locations:
- Exeter Hospital, August 13-15, 7 AM-6 PM
You must schedule an appointment directly with Exeter Hospital by calling (603) 580-6124 between 8:30 AM – 5 PM. As of Monday night, Exeter Hospital had scheduled 173 patients to have their blood drawn for testing.
- 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 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.
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.