North Carolina fights rising hepatitis C infections

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A multi-million dollar initiative to fight hepatitis C infections is launching in North Carolina after the opioid crisis caused a dramatic spike in statewide infections.

HepConnect is holding a launch event in the state capitol on Thursday following similar launches in states like Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Indiana.

The state department of health and human services estimates there are over 100,000 North Carolinians living with hepatitis C. The virus can spread through sharing needles and can cause severe liver damage, or in some cases, death. The initiative aims to increase access to care for those infected with the virus.

Democratic Rep. Gale Adcock will be speaking at the launch event on Thursday, along with a panel of North Carolina-based medical and public health experts.

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