Indiana News

Rise in hepatitis C cases sparks concern in Floyd County

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) – A southern Indiana county is facing a sharp increase in hepatitis C cases, but officials say it’s too soon to seek state permission for a needle-exchange program.

Floyd County officials say they’ve seen a noticeable rise in hepatitis C cases tied to use of heroin and other drugs. County health officer Dr. Tom Harris tells the News and Tribune the drug is inexpensive and easy to obtain in the area.

Sheriff Frank Loop says the county needs a drug addiction center. But recent budget cuts are raising questions about whether the county has the funding to deal with its drug issues.

Officials say the outbreak is troubling but hasn’t yet risen to the level needed to seek state permission for a needle-exchange program under a new Indiana law.