HIV Epidemic Forces Indiana Governor to Extend the Public Health Emergency

Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, on Monday issued an order which will be extending the public health emergency. This move is the state’s response to the HIV outbreak which has been rampant since it first broke out in mid-December.

Until Tuesday, it was found that there were approximately 135 cases of the disease of which 129 were confirmed while 6 were in preliminary. This increase in the number has been linked to the increases in injected drug usage. The drug, as it seems, is primarily prescription opioid opana.

An order was issued in March by Pence for Scott County. This county alone has had about 79 confirmed cases. This number has been accounted for since mid-December, while the average of the county has been about 5 cases a year.

As more and more people are being tested, officials are expecting a lot more cases, as it takes about 3 months for the symptoms of HIV to appear in the person’s system.

An emergency order which was released last month was to expire on Friday, but it will remain put until May 24. Multiple state agencies are being called upon to coordinate and fight this unprecedented outbreak.