Some residents in first year-only residence hall, Christensen Hall, at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) received tattoos in one of the building lounges on Thursday, Sept. 4 that later became infected.  

In an email to the residents and staff of Christensen, Residence Hall Director Calvin Mahony addressed the matter. 

“It’s been brought to my attention that several Christensen and building adjacent residents received tattoos last night in a building lounge from another resident,” said Mahony. “As a result of these tattoos, several of these students are now experiencing infections.” 

Mahony did not specify what type of infections resulted. 

Mahony encouraged students who received the tattoos to contact him, as well as UNH Health & Wellness, to get them checked for potential infection caused by the tattoos. He also told the affected students to “reach out to their friends to make sure that they are aware of this as well so we can keep this community as healthy as possible.” 

According to the Mayo Clinic, infections and complications caused by tattoos can include allergic reactions, inflammation and bloodborne diseases such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), hepatitis B and hepatitis C.  

It is unclear how the resident administered the tattoos to fellow students that night. In the state of New Hampshire, it is considered unlawful for any person to practice body piercing, branding, or tattooing without a license. 

In an emailed statement to The New Hampshire, Health & Wellness Medical Director Dr. Peter Degnan said, “Without going into any specifics, if a situation arose where there was concern for possible blood exposure between one individual and another, there is a potential risk for transmission of infection. The infections of particular concern are hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. If an individual is concerned that they may be at risk, they are encouraged to contact Health & Wellness for a discussion about risk management and surveillance.” 

Students who are concerned they may be affected should contact UNH Health & Wellness at health@unh.edu or by phone at (603) 862-9355.  

Photo courtesy of the University of New Hampshire.