STRATHAM, NH (NEWS CENTER) --The unprecedented job of testing more than 3,000 people for possible exposure to Hepatitis C is underway in New Hampshire.
A state run clinic opened Thursday morning for patients at Exeter Hospital. Health officials say the testing is necessary after a former hospital medical technician was charged with spreading the infection with contaminated syringes.
There was a steady stream of patients filing into Cooperative Middle School to be tested for hepatitis C. The clinic used a so-called 'rapid test' which gave patients a results within an hour of the test. Even though the testis 99 percent accurate, the tests are being confirmed at the state's public health lab in Concord.
Former Exeter medical technician David Kwiatkowski was arrested last month, accused of stealing drugs from the hospital's lab and infecting 31 patients with contaminated syringes.
Those patients had been treated at the hospital's cardiac catherization lab, where Kwiatkowski worked. After discovering Kwiatkowski had access to other areas of the hospital the hepatitis C testing was expanded to about 33-hundred patients who had surgery in the hospital's operating room or were admitted to it's intensive care unit.
Patients we spoke to say having to undergoing testing for the virus has been extremely stressful, but are relieved their results were negative.
'It's stressful because you don't know what is happening with your health, your future health but supposedly I am low risk. Hopefully everything will work out,' said Fran Addoroisio.
Another day of testing will take place Saturday, from ten in the morning until six in the evening at Cooperative Middle School in Stratham, New Hampshire. If you would like more information on testing locations in New Hampshire. You can go to http://www.dhhs.nh.gov