- Associated Press - Monday, July 6, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - As Maine continues to weather its worst acute hepatitis C outbreak since cases were recorded in the 1990s, health advocates say the state’s heroin epidemic is to blame.

The Portland Press Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1NIilsi ) acute cases of the blood-borne viral disease more than tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis C is often spread through needles shared by intravenous drug users.

The state CDC says acute and chronic cases show similar numbers this year through June 30 as in 2014, which suggests the outbreak is continuing.

Department spokesman John Martins says the CDC’s strategy for reduction is a combination of prevention, education, testing and linkage to care.

Martins says the CDC is promoting “no-cost” hepatitis C screenings across the state.


Information from: Portland Press Herald, https://www.pressherald.com

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