The Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an online 2018 National Viral Hepatitis Progress Report to share trends in viral hepatitis vaccination efforts, and disease incidence and mortality. This is the annual update to the 2017 inaugural report, Progress Toward Viral Hepatitis Elimination in the United States. In the new report, CDC highlights the current burden of hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus infections and the strategies for improving prevention of transmission and mortality. The seven indicators and accompanying 2020 goals compiled specifically for the 2018 National Viral Hepatitis Progress Report were adapted from other initiatives, including the 2017-2020 HHS National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, Healthy People 2020 and the Division of Viral Hepatitis Strategic Plan, 2016-2020.
Reporting on the most recent data available, the 2016 data show:
- Targets met for:
- Reducing the rate of hepatitis B-related deaths
- Reducing the rate of hepatitis C-related deaths
- Targets not met but progress toward the 2020 goal was achieved for:
- Increasing the percentage of children aged 19-35 months who receive 2 or more doses of hepatitis A vaccine
- Reducing the rate of reported acute hepatitis B virus infections among persons aged 19 years or older
- Targets were not met and were not changed or moved from the annual target for:
- Reducing the rate of reported acute hepatitis C infections
- Reducing the rate of reported hepatitis A infections
- Increasing the percentage of infants who receive hepatitis B vaccine within 3 days of birth
The nation has the knowledge and tools to keep Americans safe from hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus. CDC, in collaboration with stakeholders, is working to improve screening and ensure access to treatment and care, to reduce transmission among people who inject drugs and perinatal transmission, and to identify innovative models for the elimination of viral hepatitis will accelerate progress toward the 2020 goals.
Eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat is imaginable given the powerful tools available; however, much work remains to disseminate these interventions to effectively interrupt transmission and minimize the negative health outcomes of infections. Thank you for your dedication and commitment toward preventing viral hepatitis infections and improving the health of millions of infected Americans. Together, we share in an extraordinary opportunity to combat the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis, moving our nation towards its elimination goals.