Hepatitis C numbers up in Maine, Androscoggin County

Hepatitis C numbers are up in Maine, with Androscoggin County seeing some of the highest rates of acute cases in the state.

Experts say there are a variety of reasons for the increase, including a spike in heroin use — the hepatitis C virus is transmitted by blood and shared needles commonly spread it — and a new, dramatically more effective treatment that's made patients more willing to be tested.

"We are seeing people coming out of the woodwork to seek treatment for hepatitis C," Imad Durra, infectious disease specialist with Central Maine Infectious Diseases in Lewiston, said.


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