What health officials call an “alarming number” of hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia have begun showing up at several playgrounds in Olympia, Washington, King 5 reports. Many parents are concerned about the risk for their children of contracting HIV or the hepatitis C virus (HCV) while playing outside. Local doctors said they have seen a spike in the number of patients seeking blood tests after they were potentially poked by one of nearly 207 hypodermic needles that have been found in Olympia’s outdoor areas since mid-August. City park officials said they are forming a partnership with city police to safely discard the needles and fight the problem by upping patrols and starting a needle-tracking system.

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