(NBC NEWS) An HIV “epidemic” fueled by needle-sharing opiate addicts has infected at least 72 people in one southern Indiana county as Gov. Mike Pence plans to declare a public health emergency in that community on Thursday.

The outbreak’s swift acceleration in Scott County — beginning with seven known HIV-positive patients in late January — has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deploy investigators to test residents and to help control further spread of the virus, Pence said.

CDC officials arrived on Monday and “traveled to the community … an epidemic ‘aid team.’ I met with them late Monday,” Pence told reporters in Scottsburg, the county seat. “And they informed me that they had confirmed that we have an epidemic in Scott County.”

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