Scott County

Viral Maps Show Exactly How An HIV Outbreak Spread

Jan 24, 2018

Epidemiologists traditionally have depended on what people say to discover how disease spreads. But in investigating Indiana's recent HIV outbreak, the CDC tracked what the virus says — by looking at its DNA.

Steve Burns/Indiana Public Broadcasting

The small town of Austin, Indiana, made national headlines for an HIV outbreak tied to injection drug use two years ago.

Now, community in Scott County is making news for a different reason.

For the first time ever, the high school’s Dimensions show choir is heading to a national competition in Chicago later this month.

Gretchen Frazee, Indiana Public Media

An increase in the number of hepatitis C infections attributable to injection drug use has prompted Tippecanoe County Health Officer Jeremy Adler to start developing a plan to stem the spread of the virus.

County data show 61 percent of new hepatitis C cases last year occurred in people who had injected drugs, an increase from 50 percent in 2014, and 37 percent in 2013.

NIAID / https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/

It’s been a year since Governor Mike Pence declared a public health emergency in response to a historic HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana.

The declaration allowed the county to start a needle exchange to limit the spread of the virus through injection drugs.

The exchange was also meant to connect people to addiction treatment.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Jake Harper reports, talking to people about treatment is just one of the first steps toward overcoming addiction.

NIAID / https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/6813403685

The Indiana State Department of Health says they’ve diagnosed four new cases of HIV linked to the Scott County outbreak.

That brings the total number of people infected up to 188.

The Indiana State Department of Health says all of the new cases involve people who were identified as contacts of others previously diagnosed with HIV.

The majority of the cases associated with the outbreak have been linked to intravenous drug use.

State Epidemiologist Pam Pontones says those at risk for HIV should be retested every three months.

IU Med School To Study HIV In Scott County

Jan 12, 2016
Dimitris Kalogeropoylos / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dkalo/

The Indiana University School of Medicine received a grant Monday to study HIV patients’ access to testing and treatment in Austin, Indiana, where an outbreak of HIV cases occurred this year.

The two-year, $200,000 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse will be supplemented by funding from the IU School of Medicine.

HIV Outbreak Likely To Cost Millions In Medical Treatment

Dec 21, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / IPBS

One health expert predicts the lifetime cost of treatment for those impacted by Indiana’s HIV outbreak could reach $58 million.

Since the outbreak began last year, the state health department says 184 people have been diagnosed with HIV.

Co-Director of the Rural Center for AIDS and STD Prevention Beth Meyerson says the lifetime medical costs for a person with HIV run between $230,000 and $350,000.

“This is non-medication related costs or chronic disease medication,” she says.

NIAID / https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/

The Indiana Department of Health says it’s in recovery mode when it comes to addressing the HIV outbreak in Scott County.

Health officials talked about the next steps in addressing the outbreak during a panel discussion Tuesday at Indiana University.

The state and the Centers for Disease Control just finished re-testing more than 500 at-risk people for HIV. Only three of those tests came back positive.

Scott County Public Health Nurse Brittany Combs says that’s encouraging.  

Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/4716903349

After a year of struggling to bring an HIV epidemic under control, the Scott County city of Austin is now confronting a problem of police manpower.

Austin has six officers for a city of 4,300. However, police say federal standards suggest the city should have twice that much manpower.

Mayor Doug Campbell says the police force has been undermanned for years, even before the drug problem blamed for the HIV outbreak led to more police calls too.

Scott County HIV Outbreak Subsiding

Jun 18, 2015
Barbara Harrington / http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/

State health officials say the HIV outbreak in Scott County has leveled off. 170 cases have been diagnosed in Scott County this year, but Deputy State Health Commissioner Jennifer Walthall says new cases are becoming less frequent.

"The number of new cases per week since the middle of April has dramatically decreased from a peak of around 23 in the late part of April in one week to zero cases, one case, two cases," Walthall says.

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