UNDATED (CNN) -- At least seven states are conducting investigations into whether or not a former hospital employee infected patients with Hepatitis C. Thousands of people across the country who never knew they were at risk for the chronic disease, are now getting letters in the mail encouraging them to get tested.
Authorities say David Kwiatkowski is a "serial infector" he was arrested last week, accused of infecting at least 30 people at a New Hampshire hospital with Hepatitis C by stealing syringes and drugs for his own use, then allowing the same needles to be used on patients. U.S. Attorney John Kacavas says, "He knew he had Hepatitis C as of at least June of 2010. He continued to divert drugs, permitting tainted syringes to be used on patients under his care."
Six-thousand patients of a New Hampshire hospital where Kwiatkowski worked as a medical tech are being tested. But the risk does not stop there.
Other states where the suspect worked, including Michigan, Maryland, New York, Arizona, Georgia, and Kansas are investigating and recommending patients who may have had contact with Kwiatkowski get checked. Kacavas says, "There's no telling how many people this affects at this point."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis C is contracted through contaminated blood and can cause serious liver damage. Hepatitis c is not curable, but is treatable.
A class action lawsuit filed against the staffing agency that placed Kwiatkowski in positions at various facilities, alleges there was documented evidence of his illegal drug use that was never properly investigated.
Kwiatkowski pleaded not guilty to charges of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product.
Federal authorities say more charges could be forthcoming. He is being held without bail.
The Nebraska staffing agency that hired Kwiatkowski could not be reached for comment.