According to a report that was released by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the new cases of Hepatitis C have increased nearly 300% in the period between 2010 and 2015. The CDC has stated that the cause of this disease is due to the increased usage of heroin and other kinds of injection drugs.
Even when there are therapies that can cure almost 90 percent of infection, CDC says that this disease is still a deadly threat. About 19,000 people, according to the CDC died due to this infection in 2013.
The researchers write that Hepatitis C has been associated with most of the deaths in the US as compared to the other 60 infectious diseases combined.
The states that have had the most struggles with the opioid crisis have had the worst rate of new Hepatitis C infections. West Virginia, Tennessee, New Mexico, Maine, Kentucky and Indiana are the seven most heroin struck states and they have twice the infection rates as compared to the national average. They have also seen a significant increase in the deaths caused by overdose of the drug in the recent years.
The researchers write that the use of injection drugs is the primary risk factor for all kinds of new Hepatitis C infections. They recommend the lawmakers to strengthen and create public health laws to fight this retched disease.
The CDC says that the best way to combat this increase in rate is to boost the access of clean needles like programs for syringe exchange and decriminalizing paraphernalia possession.
The CDC says that the laws of the States that increase access to programs of syringe exchange and clean syringes and needles and the policies that allow access to the treatment of Hepatitis C through programs of state Medicaid can reduce the transmission risk of the disease.
Out of all the states, according to CDC, only Washington, New Mexico and Massachusetts had a Medicaid treatment policy and a set of laws, which might affect the access of both treatment and preventive services for Hepatitis C for people who use intravenous drugs.