During the last ten years, 636 individuals have been infected by Hepatitis C. Most of the cases involve substance abusers who share needles. Doctors say this is serious news and that health authorities should take immediate action.
“About 70 percent of those who inject drugs into their veins are infected. That is a very high percentage that can be traced back to individuals using contaminated needles and needles that others have used,” Sigurdur B. Thorsteinsson, a senior physician at the Infectious Disease Ward at the National Hospital told Fréttabladid.
Thorsteinsson said health authorities should consider providing easier access to disinfected needles for substance abusers.
Doctors fear that the high number of Hepatitis C infections is an indication of an upcoming HIV epidemic; recently three substance abusers who had shared needles were diagnosed as HIV positive. In other countries an HIV epidemic is known to have followed a spread of Hepatitis C.
Click here to read more about HIV in Iceland.