Nurse is likely source of Washington hospital's hep C outbreak, CDC rules

A nurse who admitted to diverting drugs from a Washington state hospital is the likely source of a hepatitis C outbreak among patients, the CDC said in an April 25 report.

The CDC did not disclose the hospital's name, but MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup has previously acknowledged the outbreak, reports CNN. In April 2018, the hospital recommended 2,762 patients undergo testing for potential infections.

Twenty patients tested positive for hepatitis C. Thirteen had a genetically similar strain to Cora Weberg, a former nurse at the hospital who admitted to diverting fentanyl and hydromorphone.

After administering the injectable narcotics to patients, Ms. Weberg said she often brought the remainder home for her own use.

The CDC said Ms. Weberg may have contracted the virus from using leftover narcotics injected into a patient with chronic hepatitis C infection.

"It is possible that nurse A acquired the virus from the patient with chronic HCV infection during the November 8 visit and was infectious during November 22 to December 26, 2017, during which time at least 12 patients that she treated became infected," the agency said in the report.

The CDC said healthcare facilities can minimize the infection risks linked to drug diversion by storing controlled substances in secure settings and routinely checking access logs.

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