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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn | August 16, 2012
All baby boomers should get tested for hepatitis C, the virus that can lead to liver disease, cancer and death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . One in 30 boomers is infected and most don't know -- read about that in this Sun's story on hep C . In making the recommendation, CDC officials believe raising awareness and testing will avert more disease and deaths. It's now the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths and a leading cause of liver transplants.)
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NEWS
April 15, 2014
It was interesting to read that there is now a cure for hepatitis C in the form of new drugs that are capable of completely suppressing the virus in 90 percent of patients in 8 to 12 weeks ( "Gilead Sciences' $84,000 price for hepatitis drug is scrutinized," March 21). Of course, it costs $84,000 so it is not available to Americans, 99 percent of whom are not multi-millionaires. I have a great deal of difficulty accepting the fact that in this country the wealth of corporations is always more important than the health of our citizens.
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NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a Columbia-based medical staffing agency claiming it acted negligently in 2008 by hiring and placing a medical technician who allegedly went on to expose the plaintiffs to hepatitis C. The lawsuit also says the firm and UPMC Presbyterian, the Pittsburgh hospital where the technician allegedly came in contact with the plaintiffs, knew he had put patients at risk by stealing narcotics but never informed...
NEWS
By Chris Beyrer | December 11, 2013
News that Congress reached a budget deal has been met with glee by D.C. pundits, but there is an unresolved issue on the minds of many in the Maryland medical community - will they see sense and lift the ban on federal funding for Syringe Services Programs (SSPs)? Currently Congress refuses to provide us with one of the cheapest, most effective tools as we struggle against the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C in our communities. In response, over 70 scientists and health practitioners from Maryland have written to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, asking her to help end the ban. Such action is essential not just for our state but for the country as a whole.
HEALTH
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2012
A traveling hospital worker accused of stealing pain-killing drugs, contaminating syringes and infecting dozens of patients with hepatitis C pleaded not guilty to the charges in New Hampshire federal court Monday. David Kwiatkowski, 33, who was trained in Michigan as a radiologic technologist before beginning his work as a hired temporary worker in hospitals across the country — including four in Maryland — has been described as a "serial infector" by prosecutors and an addict by investigators.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | November 5, 2012
Health officials in Maryland confirmed Monday the state's first hepatitis C case directly linked to traveling medical technician David Kwiatkowski, whose arrest by federal law enforcement officials in July in connection with a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire sparked a nationwide probe of patients he had contact with. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said molecular testing conducted at the Centers for Disease Control on a blood specimen from a Baltimore VA Medical Center patient indicates the patient's infection is "closely related" to other infections linked to Kwiatkowski.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | August 13, 1992
For the first time, researchers have used a vaccine to completely prevent the spread of hepatitis A, a sometimes deadly liver infection. Hepatitis experts said the vaccine was a major advance against the disease, which afflicts tens of thousands of Americans and can kill in its most virulent form. The vaccine was tested in 1,037 children in the Kiryas Joel community in Monroe, N.Y. This community of Hasidic Jews has been plagued by rampant hepatitis A infections. Half the children were given the vaccine and half were given a dummy injection.
FEATURES
By Medical Tribune News Service | June 16, 1992
An outbreak of hepatitis A in Anchorage, Alaska, has been traced to flavored slush drinks served by a convenience store there.The slush-flavoring mixture was prepared in a bathroom by a worker who had been exposed to two other people with the highly infectious virus, according to a study published in the June issue of the Western Journal of Medicine.Employees who serve slushes at gas stations, movie theaters and convenience stores, who are not required to regularly wash their hands, should take extra care to do so often to avoid spreading the virus to those who drink the summer refreshments, said Dr. Michael Beller of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
NEWS
By Michael Stroh and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | December 11, 2004
State and federal health officials are still investigating a suspicious cluster of hepatitis C infections in the Baltimore area and have temporarily shut down a specialized Timonium pharmacy that might be linked to the outbreak. Officials at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would disclose few details yesterday, including the location and number of victims infected with the virus, which kills as many as 10,000 people in the United States each year. "It's still evolving," said Dr. Diane Matuszak, acting deputy secretary for public health services, who is leading the investigation.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2012
A 65-year-old Baltimore man was infected with hepatitis C by a traveling medical technician at the Baltimore VA Medical Center in 2008, he and his attorney said — making him the first Marylander to come forward in a sweeping investigation into the technician's interactions with thousands of patients in several states. "I'm hopeful I'll be able to continue my busy life, but I'm also worried about the ones I care for," said Linwood Nelson, a Vietnam War veteran from Edmondson Village who cares for a sister with Alzheimer's disease, among others.
HEALTH
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | December 2, 2013
A traveling medical technician who spread hepatitis C to dozens of patients getting treatment in hospitals in Maryland and around the country was sentenced Monday to 39 years in federal prison. David Kwiatkowski, 34, who did contract work at four hospitals in Maryland between 2008 and 2010, had pleaded guilty to placing dirty, saline-filled syringes into circulation at multiple hospitals after using them to inject himself with painkillers. U.S. District Judge Joseph Laplante in New Hampshire handed down the sentence after hearing from several victims and from Kwiatkowski.
NEWS
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | March 23, 2013
A staffing company owned by Columbia-based Maxim Healthcare Services created a false email to make it appear it had informed state health officials about unethical conduct by contract worker David Kwiatkowski, who is accused of exposing hundreds of Maryland patients to hepatitis C. State investigators divulged the information in a report about Kwiatkowski's time in Maryland working at four hospitals from 2008 to 2010. Kwiatkowski is accused of stealing narcotics-filled syringes and filling them with saline to be used on patients in several states.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2013
The Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously Thursday for a proposed law that would require state licensing of medical staffing companies after a radiographer was accused of exposing hundreds of Marylanders to hepatitis C. In a telephone call after the vote, Sen. Thomas Middleton, a Charles County Democrat, said that chances are high it will pass the full Senate as well, given the case of David Kwiatkowski, who allegedly stole syringes of drugs...
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | March 20, 2013
Supervisors at a Maryland hospital weren't surprised when drugs were missing from a treatment room where contract radiology technician David Kwiatkowski was assigned. A manager had spotted him going through needle-disposal containers and he was among three employees under suspicion for taking vials of the narcotic fentanyl from the cardiac catheter lab, a state investigation found. But when a staffing agency later contacted the hospital about Kwiatkowski, a manager gave him a satisfactory review, writing: "David is very professional and worked very hard.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2012
Four patients treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital are likely to have contracted hepatitis C from a rogue medical technician accused of stealing drugs and leaving contaminated needles behind, lab tests have confirmed. Special molecular testing on blood specimens done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the patients were infected with strains of hepatitis C closely related to infections linked to David Kwiatkowski, state health officials said Friday. The new cases bring to five the number of people in Maryland believed infected by Kwiatkowski.
HEALTH
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2012
A traveling hospital worker accused of stealing pain-killing drugs, contaminating syringes and infecting dozens of patients with hepatitis C pleaded not guilty to the charges in New Hampshire federal court Monday. David Kwiatkowski, 33, who was trained in Michigan as a radiologic technologist before beginning his work as a hired temporary worker in hospitals across the country — including four in Maryland — has been described as a "serial infector" by prosecutors and an addict by investigators.
NEWS
By Rona Kobell and Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF | December 24, 2002
Anne Arundel County health officials are suggesting that recent patrons of Jillian's Sports Cafe in Arundel Mills mall contact the Health Department because a restaurant worker tested positive this month for hepatitis A. Customers who drank beverages with ice or freshly cut lemons at the restaurant between Dec. 4 and Dec. 15 are advised to consider receiving a shot of immune globulin, which confers protection against hepatitis infection if administered within...
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | November 5, 2012
Health officials in Maryland confirmed Monday the state's first hepatitis C case directly linked to traveling medical technician David Kwiatkowski, whose arrest by federal law enforcement officials in July in connection with a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire sparked a nationwide probe of patients he had contact with. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said molecular testing conducted at the Centers for Disease Control on a blood specimen from a Baltimore VA Medical Center patient indicates the patient's infection is "closely related" to other infections linked to Kwiatkowski.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | November 3, 2012
When David Kwiatkowski was found slurring his words and smelling of alcohol in a Boston-area hotel room littered with prescription pills late one July night, his life as a traveling medical technician had largely unraveled already. In his early 30s, he was living out of hotels, hopping among hospital jobs - including four in Maryland - and addicted to the powerful narcotic fentanyl, according to court and police documents. Federal investigators, meanwhile, were hot on his trail as they probed an outbreak of hepatitis C at a hospital where he had worked.
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