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Drug epidemic in Kentucky increasing Hepatitis C infections to highest in the nation

May 22, 2017
CDC: Kentucky leads nation in Hepatitis C infection rate

Covington KY: Growing intravenous drug use by people sharing syringes to inject heroin and other substances continues to drive new hepatitis C infections in Kentucky, notes the CDC as noted by the Herald-Leader.

Giving addicts clean needles can help stem the spread of the disease, but many Kentucky counties considered at greatest risk for an outbreak have not approved such programs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that in 2015, Kentucky was among seven states where the incidence of new hepatitis C cases was more than twice the national rate.

Hoven said state public health officials have worked to spread the word about the importance of testing people for the hepatitis C virus among agencies that could have contact with drug users, including local health departments, substance abuse treatment providers and jails.

Officials also have stressed the need to get people into care.

Still, Hoven said, itís too soon to say the decline in new reported cases will hold. And even if it does, there could be thousands of Kentuckians who have been infected but havenít been tested yet. Many will face deteriorating health at some point.


< Written by Bill Estep for the Herald-Leader, using a press release from the CDC.



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Kentucky Hepatitis C infection rate