Kanawha County sees surge in Hepatitis C cases
Hepatitis C cases in the West Virginia's largest county have soared to the highest numbers in years, months after a program offering clean needles was suspended, state Health Department data shows.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Monday that more than 1,100 new chronic cases of the disease were recorded in Kanawha County in 2018.
Local clinic director Letitia Tierney said the area is nearing a hepatitis C outbreak and a potential HIV outbreak because of needle sharing. Officials didn't immediately release HIV numbers.
The county suspended its free needle-exchange program in March 2018 after Charleston police said they would be enacting tighter regulations.
The program had been credited with helping reduce hepatitis C cases.
Some new cases could include residents who had the disease before their 2018 diagnosis, county health official Janet Briscoe said.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.