Needle Exchange Program In Miami County Denied By Local Health Officer
PERU, Ind. – The Miami County Health Officer says he will not declare a public health emergency after the number of reported hepatitis C cases had doubled in one year.
Indiana law says free needles can only be given out if a county’s lead health officer declare an emergency in the rise of HIV or hepatitis C cases.
Since Dr. Rafik Farag with the Miami County Board of Health has not declared a public health emergency, a needle exchange program cannot be established by the county’s health department according to the Kokomo Tribune.
The number of new hepatitis C cases in Miami County grew from 49 in 2015 to 109 in 2016. However, that number decreased to 90 in 2017.