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Kentucky Cases of Hepatitis C Are Twice The National Average

Mary Meehan | Ohio Valley ReSource

A new report shows Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana are among seven states with twice the national rate of Hepatitis C cases.

The Centers for Disease Control reported new cases of Hep C have increased nationwide by nearly 300 percent from 2010 to 2015. Hepatitis C is still associated with more deaths than 60 other diseases.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the state had the highest rate of new acute Hepatitis C infections from 2008 to 2015, with more than 1,000 cases. The CDC report said intravenous drug use is the primary risk factor for new infections.

The report also reviewed the comprehensiveness of laws related to preventing Hepatitis C among people who inject drugs. Tennessee is among 18 states with the least comprehensive policies, with Indiana fairing only slightly better. The CDC says state laws increasing access to needle exchange programs can reduce the risk of infection.

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