CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Department of Health has detected a cluster of hepatitis C infections among drug users in Converse County.

State epidemiologist Dr. Tracy Murphy says the agency has confirmed three hepatitis C cases in the county.

Murphy says most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs.

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by a blood-borne virus. For some, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for about 80 percent of people it can become a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis C is serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, even death.

The health department is encouraging health care providers across Wyoming to evaluate their patients' risk for hepatitis C and to conduct hepatitis C testing if needed.

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