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Hepatitis A Outbreaks in Heroin Users

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Heroin Users. “You’re turning yellow.” Using of contaminated needles and other drug paraphernalia increase risk of Hepatitis A. Hepatitis A infections is the newest negative outcome of the opioid epidemic is emerging . The population is at risks for Hepatitis A particularly if they are injecting drugs like Heroin and reusing syringes and the other drug paraphernalia. These Intravenous Drug Abusers don’t think to throw out used syringes because they would have to buy new ones. There use to be nonprofit mobile van needle exchange that was available for addicts to bring safety disposal containers with old syringes. That was a good harm reduction methodology to discourage reusing old syringes and discarding them on the ground. Then there was talk about Syringe Dispensing machines. Now there is nothing here in the way of harm reduction in areas ravaged by addiction. The addicts are reusing syringes, discarding them on the ground and Hepatitis A has come to roost.

Maybe those who unilaterally make these horrible decisions to do away with the Harm Reduction strategies of a Needle Exchange Van or the Needle Dispensing Machines might realize that having them in place is actually better for Public Health.

The CDC recommends health departments ensure people who report drug use are vaccinated for hepatitis A, and consider programs to educate at-risk populations, as well as to provide vaccinations in places where at-risk populations may seek treatment. Health care providers should encourage patients who report drug use to be vaccinated for the disease.

Source: https://www.mdedge.com/psychiatry/article/167799/hepatitis/cdc-warns-hepatitis-outbreaks-injection-drug-users

Hepatitis A Outbreaks in Heroin Users, Just before the Fourth of July, Trenton Burrell began feeling run-down and achy. Soon he could barely muster the energy to walk from one room to another. A friend shared an alarming observation: “You’re turning yellow.”

Within days, the 40-year-old landed in the hospital, diagnosed with the highly contagious liver virus hepatitis A, which has infected more than 3,220 people in Ohio and killed at least 15.

Since 2016, the virus has spawned outbreaks in at least 29 states, starting with Michigan and California. It’s sickened more than 23,600 people, sent the majority to the hospital and killed more than 230. All but California’s and Utah’s outbreaks are ongoing, and experts expect to eventually see the virus seep into every state.

Read more at usatoday.com

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