- Associated Press - Monday, October 12, 2015

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - Health officials in a central Indiana county say they’re discouraged by low participation in a needle-exchange program aimed at slowing the spread of hepatitis C among intravenous drug users.

Madison County public health coordinator Stephanie Grimes says 3,000 syringes have been distributed in the program’s first two months. She told county Board of Health members that “we’re a little discouraged by the numbers and participants.”

But Grimes says state officials feel the program has been successful. It is aimed at combatting infections by reducing needle-sharing among IV drug users.

County health department spokeswoman Kellie Kelley says Madison County’s hepatitis C cases are continuing to increase, with 154 new cases through September.

The Herald Bulletin reports (https://bit.ly/1jr8cHj ) the county had 70 new hepatitis C cases during all of 2013 and 130 during 2014.

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Information from: The Herald Bulletin, https://www.theheraldbulletin.com

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