MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among people who inject drugs.
There have been 18 cases reported between December 2018 and January 2020, with 13 in Hennepin County and five in Ramsey County, according to the department.READ MORE: 'We Are Pleasantly Surprised': Minnesota's Corn, Soybean Yields Better Than Expected
In contrast, there are usually about zero to three cases of HIV per year in Hennepin and Ramsey counties among people who inject drugs.READ MORE: 'It's Unimaginable': Families Of Quadruple Homicide Victims Eulogize Loved Ones
Experts say the outbreak has the potential to spread quickly, due to blood-to-blood contact.MORE NEWS: Unvaccinated Minnesotans 30x More Likely To Die From COVID: 'Infection Risk Is There For All Age Groups'
Many of the infected individuals have experienced homelessness. According to a health advisory, many of them are also “co-infected with hepatitis C virus.”