The CDC has determined a county’s vulnerability with a recipe that includes high rates of fatal overdoses – prescription opioid sales and searing poverty.
A man was lying sedate after injecting drugs.
His fellow users – to amuse themselves – threw needles at him like a human dartboard to see if they would stick according to a recent police report in Wolfe County, Kentucky.
‘Back in the day all we had to worry about was people drinking or smoking weed’ said special deputy Gary Smith – who is entering his 25th year with the Wolfe County sheriff’s department.
But with a growing US opioid epidemic that has escalated the number of injection drug users the bucolic county has become acutely at risk from another public health problem.
Wolfe County tops the list of places that are most vulnerable to an HIV outbreak.
A new alarm for the HIV epidemic sounded early last year when a small rural town in Indiana was beset with a staggering 188 cases of the hard-to-control disease – and the sirens have been heard in similar towns across the country.
The threat of another outbreak such as the one in Austin, Indiana, so concerned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the federal agency drafted a report showcasing which places in the US are most vulnerable to a similar outbreak.