Northern Ky. sees spike in Hepatitis C rate

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (AP) - Statistics show cases of hepatitis C have exploded in northern Kentucky.

Due to the increase, the Independent Health Department District is offering free testing to anyone concerned about have the chronic blood-borne disease that affects the liver. In addition, the department is encouraging high-risk groups to get tested.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports the area had 23 cases of acute hepatitis C in 2010, 42 in 2011 and 44 in 2012. Officials have said the heroin epidemic in the area is likely a factor in the increase.

Health department spokeswoman Emily Gresham Wherle said anyone who tests positive for the disease will be provided with counseling, education and care option. She says the health department also hopes to get a better understanding of the prevalence of the problem.

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