CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Health officials across the country are scrambling to identify and test thousands of patients who may have been exposed to hepatitis C from a traveling medical technician facing criminal charges in New Hampshire.

About 4,700 people in New Hampshire alone have been asked to get tested.

David Kwiatkowski is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs from Exeter Hospital and contaminating syringes that were later used on patients. Thirty of them have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C that he carries.

Testing has been recommended for about 4,700 people in New Hampshire alone, and officials are still determining who needs testing in seven other states, including Arizona, where Kwiatkowski was fired in 2010 after being spotted with drugs he wasn’t authorized to administer.

Health officials have confirmed that Kwiatkowski also held temporary jobs in Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania before being hired in New Hampshire in March 2011.

The staffing agency that hired him declined to comment Thursday.

Kwiatkowski told investigators he didn’t steal or use drugs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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