Spread of hepatitis B& C linked to opioid use


NEW BERN, Craven County - According to the Craven County Health Department, it is seeing an increase in hepatitis B and C cases which they are linking to intravenous drug use.

Hepatitis B and C are transmitted though the blood and cause liver damage.

Investigators at the Craven County Sheriff's Office say locally, addicts are doing whatever they can to get heroin. They are even using used needles, which is an easy way to contract the disease. The health department says that's evident though data gained from their prison testing programs. "When I did the calculations for 2016, each quarter we actually saw about 16 new cases coming out of the jail diagnosed with hepatitis C," said Diana Vetter Craft, of the Craven County Health Department.

If you want to keep yourself and your family safe, the Craven County Sheriff's Office recommends that you avoid risky behavior and stay very aware of your surrounding in case there are any uncapped needles.