Could a rise in Hep C cases be linked to unlicensed tattoo artists?

(Photo: AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The number of Hepatitis C cases is on the rise in Pulaski County, and according to the health department, it’s likely because of unlicensed tattoo artists.

Police in Pulaski County put a warning on Facebook about their tattoo investigation that garnered hundreds of comments, many warning about the connection between unlicensed tattoos and the increase of Hep C in the area.

Police say this may be a much bigger issue than they originally thought.

“Friday the 26th, we executed our first search warrant from that, and from the public, we received several more leads and we are following up on all of those,” Megan Jennings with the Pulaski Police Department said. “This is grown to be a bigger problem that what we originally thought.”

So far, nobody has been charged in the investigation.

Police say people need to realize that cheap tattoos might end up costing a lot more in the long run because of the possible health risks.

So, how can you make sure your tattoo artist is safe? First, check here to make sure they’re licensed.

Also, while there’s no sure way to tell if the ink is safe, make sure your tattoo artist is using sterile water and the ink is in a sealed container.

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