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Opioid epidemic gives rise to Hepatitis C infections

Opioid use is responsible to increases in hepatitis C infections.

A large number of opioid addicts are also inadvertently injecting themselves with the Hepatitis C virus, according to research published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers found a 133 percent increase across the country in acute Hepatitis C in conjunction with a 93 percent rise in substance abuse center admissions for opioid injection from 2004 to 2014.

The analysis was published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.

“Hepatitis C is a deadly, common and often invisible result of America’s opioid crisis,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. “By testing people who inject drugs for hepatitis C infection, treating those who test positive, and preventing new transmissions, we can mitigate some of the effects of the nation’s devastating opioid crisis and save lives.”

The study examined data from CDC’s hepatitis surveillance system and from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) national database that tracks admissions to substance use disorder treatment facilities throughout the country.

Hepatitis C virus spreads through infected blood or tissue an can lead to inflammation of the liver and liver cancer. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Read full article: Opioid epidemic gives rise to Hepatitis C infections | TribLIVE

Read Full Article: Opioid epidemic gives rise to Hepatitis C infections | TribLIVE

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