- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana’s health commissioner has approved a needle-exchange program for a third Indiana county to help officials there combat a hepatitis C epidemic.

Dr. Jerome Adams declared a public health emergency Friday for Fayette County that allows the eastern Indiana county to launch a needle-exchange program.

Adams says county officials have submitted a comprehensive plan for combatting the hepatitis C epidemic. He says the needle-exchange is part of the county’s efforts to reduce the spread of that “devastating disease” through needle-sharing among intravenous drug users.

Needle-exchange programs provide users with clean needles.

Adams had previously approved needle-exchanges for central Indiana’s Madison County and southern Indiana’s Scott County under a state law approved in April. That law was spurred by Scott County’s HIV outbreak that’s become the largest in state history.

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