A disastrous hepatitis C outbreak first detected in New Hampshire now involves seven states, including Michigan, and has a direct connection to Canton.
Dave Kwiatkowski, a former Canton resident, last week was with spreading his hepatitis C to 30 patients at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire by stealing their medication to get high.
Prosecutors said Kwiatkowski would shoot himself up with syringes full of powerful narcotics like Fentanyl and then replace the needles with a solution to make it look as if they were untouched. The tainted needles were then used on unsuspecting patients. The tactic is known as "drug diversion."
Kwiatkowski, who prosecutors said knew he had hepatitis C as early as June 2010, was a "traveler" who did technicial work in New Hampshire and six other states.
Angela Minicuci from the Michigan Department of Community Health said she can not yet confirm Kwiatkowski's employment history in Michigan because of the ongoing investigation.
"The Michigan Department of Community Health is currently working with identified Michigan facilities to confirm employment history," Minicuci said in an email. "Next steps will be determined based on our findings, including any actions that may need to be taken for patient safety purposes."
The Associated Press identified the following hospitals Kwiatkowski has worked at:
- An unidentified hospital in Michigan.
- Hays Medical Center in Hays, KS. Kwiatkowski worked there from May 2010 to Sept. 2010.
- Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He worked there for six months starting in July 2009
- Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY. He worked there from late 2007 to early 2008.
Health officials have not identifed two states Kwiatkowski worked at, but said they are working with their counterparts in all seven states to determine if he spread his hepatitis C to patients.
Kwiatkowski faces up to 24 years in prison on charges of fraud and tampering. He could face more serious charges if any of his alleged victims ends up dying of hepatitis C – a liver disease that can be fatal.
Kwiatkowski is currently undergoing treatment for his hepatitis C at a Massachusetts hospital. He is expected to be in court this week.
An FBI report Kwiatkowski as a pathological liar who faked a cancer diagnosis and made up stories about playing baseball at the University of Michigan and having a dead fiance.
When investigators asked Kwiatkowski about the Exeter, NH victims, he told them, "I'm more concerned about myself, my own well being ... I've learned here to just worry about myself and that's all I really care about now."
PREVIOUS COVERAGE FROM EXETER PATCH (Most recent update at top)