David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician accused of causing a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire and possibly Michigan, left a suicide note stating he "couldn't handle this stress anymore" a week before being arrested while apparently trying to take his own life.
Kwiatkowski was found in an "impaired" state in a Marlborough, Mass., hotel room with prescription pills scattered about, and is being held on federal drug charges.
Federal authorities said the technician may have attempted suicide in the week before his arrest. Marlborough police released details of the suicide note, which read, "Please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." Authorities also released a list of six prescription drugs found in the hotel room, and noted Kwiatkowski's breath stunk of alcohol when he was found.
The 33-year-old is believed to have caused a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire by contaminating syringes used on patients, leading authorities to recommend testing for 4,700 people across the state. Officials are tracing a work history that has seen Kwiatkowski employed at a dozen of hospitals across seven states -- Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
Hospital officials in Arizona, Michigan and other states have been looking for patients treated during Kwiatkowski's stint at hospitals in their states who may have been infected by the disturbed technician.
Connecting him to hepatitis C cases in other states could prove tricky. After a year, the virus mutates within the body and would likely not resemble Kwiatkowski's, health officials told the Associated Press.
U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire John Kacavas told the AP Kwiatkowski's strain of hepatitis C has been diagnosed in 30 patients who were treated at a cardiac lab in Exeter Hospital during his employment there.
"Because of his employment as a traveler, working for agencies and being sent around the country to various states, it really has tentacles all over the country," he told the Chicago Sun Times. "Its scope is unprecedented and scary."