LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Some medical experts are blaming a spike in hepatitis B cases on a lack of substance-abuse programs in Maine.
The Maine Centers for Disease Control is reporting through September 1st, there have been 29 cases of the disease.
The state typically averages fewer than 10 each year. Penobscot County had 11 cases, Hancock County had five cases the remaining counties had two cases or fewer each.
Dr. Imad Durra an infectious disease specialist at Central Maine Medical Center, says the cases so far for 2016 is nearly three times the national average
Durra says the majority of the cases involve IV drug users. The doctor says the more state resources need to be committed to combat the problem.
“We need to put much more effort and money into substance-abuse treatment programs they're not affected by politics and ideology number two we need to promote immunizations,” said Dr. Durra.
The spokesman for the Maine Center For Disease Control says immunization clinics and public awareness programs are in the works for the near future.
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