- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Health says newly reported cases of hepatitis C are on the rise, along with prescription opioid and heroin abuse.

The virus is spread by contact with contaminated blood, for example, from sharing needles.

The Rutland Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2pBK76X) the department says newly reported cases more than doubled among residents 20 to 39 years old between 2010 and 2014. Half of all newly reported cases in 2015 were among 15-to-39-year-olds. Preliminary data for 2016 shows slightly more than half of new cases were among those age 20-39.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-backed study says many people with the virus used oral prescription opiates before injecting a drug like heroin.

In Vermont, heroin deaths nearly doubled from 29 in 2015 to 51 in 2016, while prescription drug overdoses rose from 66 in 2015 to 104 in 2016.

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Information from: Rutland Herald, https://www.rutlandherald.com/


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