Five years ago, an emergency room nurse in Washington was accused of transmitting hepatitis C (HCV) to at least 12 people. This month, she was charged with a felony and entered into a plea deal, according to an article from The Independent.
The filing states that Cora Weberg, “with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death and bodily injury, and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to such risk, did knowingly and intentionally tamper with, and did attempt to tamper with, a consumer product that affected interstate and foreign commerce, specifically, hospital medication vials of hydromorphone and fentanyl.”
Weberg, 36, allegedly stole drugs from patients and used syringes she had injected herself with to administer meds to patients, exposing them to HCV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington Department of Health published research that showed Weberg tested positive for HCV antibodies and suggested her to be “the likely source” of HCV infections in 12 people she had treated at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington, according to a KIRO 7 News article.
The nurse was accused of one count of tampering with consumer products on September 1. Last Tuesday, she entered into a plea agreement that could lead to a potential maximum prison sentence of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and a post-sentence supervisory period of up to three years, according to The Independent. As part of her plea deal, she also admitted to tampering with vials of two opioid drugs—hydromorphone and fentanyl. Her sentencing is scheduled for November 30.
The plea agreement states that Weberg was “depressed and suicidal based on being the victim of a domestic violence relationship.” It continued to say, “Weberg did not know that she was infected with hepatitis C nor that she was putting her patients at risk of contracting hepatitis C. But Weberg knowingly bypassed nursing safety protocols to divert the medication before wasting.”
To learn more, click #Hepatitis C. There, you’ll find headlines such as “One Third of People With Hepatitis C Are Unaware of Their Status,” “Vosevi Is Effective for Retreatment of Hepatitis C” and “Hepatitis C Symptoms.”