- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - A south central Indiana health officer has taken a step toward gaining a needle exchange program.

Monroe County Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill says Health Officer Dr. Thomas Sharp submitted the declaration of a public health emergency to the county commissioners Wednesday. It’s the first step a county health department must take before a needle exchange program can be approved by the Indiana State Department of Health.

The Herald-Times reports (https://bit.ly/1J57MwA ) the declaration cites an epidemic of new hepatitis C cases primarily contracted through injection drug use.

State health data says hepatitis C cases in the county where Bloomington is located grew by 83 percent from 2009 to 2014. Caudill says cases are continuing to grow.

The state so far has approved needle exchanges in Scott, Madison and Fayette counties.


Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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