Cape Cod Hepatitis C rates highest in state among young people

Users of heroin and other intravenous drugs face dangers beyond addiction, prison, and overdose. Deadly blood-borne diseases, transmitted through shared needles, are rampant among IV drug users.

For the past several years, Barnstable County has led Massachusetts in the rate of new infections of Hepatitis C among people aged 15 to 25. An especially dangerous virus that attacks its host’s liver, often resulting in cirrhosis or cancer, Hepatitis C infected 344.3 of every 100,000 residents of Barnstable County in 2012, the latest year for which figures are available. The incidence rate for Plymouth, the second leading county, was 194.57.

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