Additional Hepatitis C Cases in Maryland Found Related to Infected Healthcare Worker

 Baltimore, MD (December 21, 2012) -- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today announced that through special molecular testing done on blood specimens at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), four more Maryland patients infected with Hepatitis C virus were found to have virus closely related to infections linked to David Kwiatkowski, a healthcare worker accused of diverting narcotics for personal use. The four were patients of Johns Hopkins Hospital during the time from July 10, 2009, to January 9, 2010, when Kwiatkowski was placed there by a medical staffing agency. The results are in addition to a previously identified and reported patient of the Baltimore VA Medical Center with closely related virus.


The five patients identified to date are among approximately 1,700 patients of four Maryland healthcare facilities (The Baltimore VA Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, MD General Hospital and Southern MD Hospital Center) who had been notified that they had undergone procedures in which Mr. Kwiatkowski was potentially involved and that they should get tested for hepatitis C infection.

Additional closely linked cases have been identified in New Hampshire and Kansas.

No documented incidents of drug diversion associated with the healthcare worker were reported to DHMH. However, the finding that five patients are infected with Hepatitis C virus closely related to the outbreak strain adds to the concern that such activity might have occurred in Maryland. DHMH has been leading a review of potential vulnerabilities in Maryland to identify steps that could help prevent such disease transmission. The report of this review is expected in early 2013.

 

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Public Health Officials Offer Food Safety Tips in Preparation of Potential Power Outages and Flooding Due to Hurricane Florence

(Salisbury, MD) - As Hurricane Florence begins to make way across the Eastern seaboard, health officials of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties recommend the following food safety tips for residents to help them prepare now, should local power outages or flooding occur.

• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. For more information on generator safety, visit here.

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Snow Hill, MD- Small changes often lead to major results and Worcester County Health Department’s free Lifestyle Balance program aims to help residents eat healthy, be active and lower their risk for type 2 diabetes with easy-to-follow tips and tools. New classes begin this September at the Atlantic Club in West Ocean City.


• Classes run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday beginning September 11 and ending on January 15.

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Due to inclement weather, the Just Walk Making Strides event scheduled for today is rescheduled for 5-6 p.m. on October 18 at Byrd Park in Snow Hill. For more information, please call 410-632-0056.  Read more ...
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