NH News
6:11 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Drug Diversion Most Likely Cause Of Hepatitis C Outbreak

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services says that drug diversion is the most likely cause of the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital. Health officials also expect to discover more cases of the virus.

The total number of hepatitis C cases tied to Exeter Hospital has risen to 26—20 of which match the original virus.

The 20 cases came out of a total testing pool of 731 samples.

Based on this information, the timeline for patient testing has been pushed back from August 2011 to October 1, 2010.

The state Director of Public Health, José Montero, says that more cases are likely to be revealed

I do expect to find more cases of hepatitis C and we still may find more cases of hepatitis C that match the strain.

The investigation remains open, but at this point, Montero says drug diversion appears to be the cause of the outbreak

Based on all of the testing that we have done, based on all of the interviews that we have performed with employees, with patients, the review of the hospital data, all of this information points toward drug diversion as the most plausible explanation.

Montero declined to comment on any possible police involvement.