Hepatitis C Outbreak Update: Alleged “Serial Infector” Had Written Suicide Note

The man accused up infecting possibly thousands of people with hepatitis C in New Hampshire had allegedly written a suicide note the week before his arrest, saying he “couldn’t handle this stress anymore.”

The note, reported by The Associated Press, strengthens earlier police reports that the person accused of spreading Hepatitis C, David Kiwatkowski, is a harm to himself.

Kwiatkowski was accused of stealing syringes of drugs intended for patients and using them himself, then refilling them with another liquid meant to look like saline.

Kiwatkwoski was was arrested July 19 at a Massachusetts hospital, six days after police found him impaired in a hotel room scattered with prescription pills, NBCNews.com reported. Authorities had determined that he might have tried to harm himself at the time, as there was a strong odor of alcohol on Kwiatkowski’s breath.

He is being held on federal drug charges in New Hampshire, and authorities are trying to determine if he spread the virus in seven other states.

The note read, “please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn’t handle this stress anymore.” The MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass., first reported details of the note.

“It was apparent from the note, pills and alcohol that David was trying to harm himself,” Officer James O’Malley wrote in a police report.

Kwiatkowski is accused of infecting people with hepatitis C while working at hospitals in several states. Authorities said determining just how many people he may have infected would be difficult because the virus mutates in the body over time.

Health authorities recommended hepatitis C testing for 4,700 people in New Hampshire, and officials still are determining who should be tested in a dozen hospitals elsewhere, the Associated Press reported. In addition to Arizona — where he was fired from one hospital after testing positive for cocaine and marijuana — Kwiatkowski also worked in hospitals in Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania moving on to Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire last year.

The exact date of Kwiatkowski’s hepatitis C infection remains unknown. He told officials that he had hepatitis C in May but federal officials believe he may have had the virus since June 2010, the Detroit News reported.