The opioid epidemic is causing an increase in hepatitis and HIV infections, but a less well-known type of infection linked to drugs in also on the rise: infective endocarditis. “The rise in endocarditis is making it clear that overdoses are not the only public health concern related to drug use,” said Asher Schranz, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and lead author of the North Carolina study. Based on their findings he and his colleagues averred, “[DUA]-IE is a critical, emerging public health issue that is affecting the lives of young persons, burdening health systems and public insurance payers, and fundamentally reshaping the epidemiology and management of endocarditis.”

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