Federal plea deal in NH details hepatitis C pains some

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Hampshire shows David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at Exeter, N.H., Hospital. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office, File)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The plea agreement reached by a traveling hospital worker accused of stealing drugs and infecting patients with hepatitis C in New Hampshire describes in new detail the distress and pain some of them have suffered.

One man hasn’t been able to return to work. Another has trouble sleeping. A third won’t kiss his wife on the lips even though the blood-borne virus can’t be spread that way.

All were prepared to testify against David Kwiatkowski at trial. Instead, he is scheduled to plead guilty Wednesday to 14 drug charges in exchange for 30 to 40 years in prison.

Forty-six people in four states in hospitals where Kwiatkowski worked have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries. With the plea, he will avoid criminal charges elsewhere.

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