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Heroin Users Unknowingly Spread Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a viral disease that leads to swelling (inflammation) of the liver. One of the ways Hepatitis C is spread from one person to another is by sharing infected needles used to inject street drugs such as heroin. Because there aren't always early symptoms of the disease, an infected heroin user can easily spread the virus to others by sharing needles without even knowing they themselves have Hepatitis C yet. According to PubMed, most people infected with the viral disease don't have any symptoms in the beginning.
Hepatitis C Symptoms
Symptoms associated with Hepatitis C can include abdominal pain, swelling of the abdomen, clay colored or pale stools, dark urine, fatigue, fever, itching, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. The availability and use of heroin is rising in many areas throughout the United States and recently wsaw.com reported that cases of hepatitis C associated with heroin "has more than doubled" since the year 2000 in north central Wisconsin. Fifty cases of hepatitis C have been confirmed alone "in Marathon, Portage and Wood Counties".
There are many different ways Hepatitis C can be spread but the most common way the virus is spread in the U.S. is from injection drug use. Chronic Hepatitis C is very serious and sadly can result in long term health problems according to cdc.gov which can include liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer and even death.