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7/1/2015 - Langlade County Sees Spike In Hepatitis C Cases; Exploring Needle Exchange Program - Click here to print this information

The Langlade County Health Department has seen a rise in Hepatitis C cases, 6 in the last 3 months. An investigation into the cause of the rise concluded the cases are occurring with drug addicts who share dirty needles.

The state of Wisconsin previously employed a regional worker to travel to the Northwoods including Langlade County to conduct a needle exchange program, where people could drop off their dirty needles, in exchange for new, clean ones.

Critics argue the program encourages bad behavior, by allowing drug users to continue their habit safely. Langlade County Health Director Ron Barger says he understands the argument, but adds that as health director, it's his job to stop the spread of communicable diseases.

Barger stressed the individual who has taken over the regional position will only be brought in to talk to the board of health about how they could best solve the problem, and a needle exchange program is only one of the options being discussed.

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