Health officials looking into link between Hepatitis C and opioids, encourage testing

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Health officials looking into link between Hepatitis C and opioids, encourage testing

State health officials urge anyone with a risk factor to be tested for hepatitis C.

State health officials are reminding Delawareans of the importance of testing for Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is a blood-transmitted infection that can lead to liver problems and diseases. Dr. Martin Luta, the chief for Delaware Division of Public Health’s Bureau of Communicable Diseases, said the state’s opioid epidemic could be linked to many cases of the infection.

“You only get it when blood from an infected person finds its way into your body. The only situation where that occurs fairly frequently is when people who use drugs share the needles or other paraphernalia for drug [deployment],” Luta said.

Health officials are looking more into this connection. When a new case comes up, they interview him or her and try to determine how they got the infection in the first place, Luta said.

Almost 2,600 Hepatitis C cases were reported in the First State in 2016. Luta emphasizes the importance of testing, not only because it can help catch some cases early, but also because the cost of treatment is small compared to the cost of managing poor health.

Read full article: Health officials looking into link between Hepatitis C and opioids, encourage testing | Delaware First Media

Read Full Article: Health officials looking into link between Hepatitis C and opioids, encourage testing | Delaware First Media

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