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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Public health officials in New Hampshire say they plan to begin tracking cases of hepatitis C amid growing concerns regarding the state's opiate epidemic and the practice of sharing needles.
The Concord Monitor reports (http://bit.ly/1YwPmfs ) tracking will begin sometime within the next year in an effort to help better identify outbreaks, implement prevention measures and connect those infected with treatment.
Rep. Thomas Sherman, a Rye Democrat and medical doctor, says a "very high percentage" of drug users who share needles will test positive for the infectious disease within a month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne infection in the country, affecting nearly 3 million people. The disease's long-term effects include liver cancer.
The CDC has recommended all states track hepatitis C.
Information from: Concord Monitor, http://www.cmonitor.com