The State of New York is creating a new task force to eliminate hepatitis C

Posted at 6:24 AM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 06:24:47-04

New York is creating a task force to advise a new effort to eliminate hepatitis C.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is announcing Friday that the state Hepatitis C Elimination Task Force is the nation's first strategy to eliminate the viral infection being exacerbated by the ongoing opioid epidemic.

The Democrat says the campaign will include increasing access to medications that can cure hepatitis C and expanding programs to connect people with prevention, screening and treatment services.

The $5 million initiative follows last year's Hepatitis C elimination summit held in Albany.

State officials say more than 200,000 New Yorkers are affected by the infection that causes liver inflammation and can lead to serious liver damage. The virus spreads through contaminated blood, with the heroin epidemic sparking a rise in new cases