Warning Of Hep C
Risk For Cocaine Snorters
Cocaine-users risk contracting hepatitis if they share rolled-up bank notes and straws to snort drugs, a report has warned.
Although the health risks of sharing needles and other injecting equipment are well known, many drug-users could be unwittingly putting themselves at risk because they are unaware of the dangers of snorting.
Hepatitis B and C affect the liver and can cause serious complications.
Matthew Dolan, author of the Hepatitis C Handbook, said it was not known how many people had caught the disease through sharing contaminated bank notes.
The danger was that snorting cocaine through the nose could damage blood vessels in the nostrils causing a user to bleed on to the bank note.
If the same note was then used by another user, any infection could be passed between them.
Even microscopic droplets of blood could contain the virus.
A recent survey showed that 99pc of the banknotes in London had traces of cocaine on them, 20pc with levels high enough to suggest close contact.
Hepatitis C has been described as the biggest viral threat facing the world.


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