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Man Admits Infecting Patients with Hepatitis C

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A former radiology technician has pleaded guilty to stealing syringes of painkillers at a Jacksonville hospital and replacing them with syringes contaminated with hepatitis C.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Friday that 48-year-old Steven Beumel tampered with the syringes from 2006 through 2008 while working at the Mayo Clinic branch in Jacksonville. He injected the painkillers and refilled the contaminated syringes with saline.

Epidemiologists from the hospital and public health agencies worked for more than three years to solve the Hepatitis C outbreak and it was eventually linked to Beumel. He was fired and clinic authorities reported him to police.

The clinic tested thousands of patients who were potentially at risk. Two patients were linked to him and one died.