Health Department issues advisory about Hepatitis C increase
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Department of Health wants residents to become more aware of Hepatitis C, saying the rate of acute cases in the state has more than tripled in the last seven years.
Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner says it’s also estimated that more than 100,000 Tennesseans may be living with chronic Hepatitis C and not be aware.
The disease has no vaccine. The Health Department says the most important way to prevent the disease from spreading is to avoid exposure to infected blood.
Dreyzehner says anyone who suspects infection should be tested right away and, if infected, speak to a doctor about treatment options.
The agency says most of the increase in transmission of Hepatitis C in Tennessee is due to sharing of contaminated needles and syringes among intravenous drug users.