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Detachable needles on syringes promote hepatitis C transmission, study says

The high incidence of hepatitis C infections among drug abusers may be due in part to the use of syringes with detachable needles, which are more likely to transfer viable viruses from one user to the next, Yale University researchers will report Friday. Their study is reputed to be the first that examines the survival of the virus in used syringes.

Dr. Elijah Paintsil of the Yale School of Medicine and his colleagues studied survival of the hepatitis C virus in several types of syringes. They loaded the syringes with blood spiked with the virus, depressed the plunger and measured the concentration of hepatitis C virus in the residual blood immediately afterward and nine weeks later.

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