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Hepatitis C on rise in NRV

High rates of hepatitis C in the New River Valley have health officials working to create a prevention plan.

The New River Valley has elevated rates of hepatitis C, and the number of cases is growing every year, reports Robert Parker, public information officer with the Virginia Department of Health.

“Since 2012, more than 1,000 cases of hepatitis C have been reported in New River Health District,” says District Health Director Dr. Noelle Bissell. “We have seen significant numbers of cases of acute hepatitis C infection linked to tattoo parlors, the use of homemade tattoo guns at parties, and in people who report more than 10 sex partners. We’re also noticing a trend in cases associated with intravenous drug abuse, particularly methamphetamine, and in pregnant women and women of childbearing age.”

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