On May 11, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new preliminary viral hepatitis surveillance data showing that hepatitis B infections in the U.S. increased 20.7% in 2015 and the number of new hepatitis C infections reported to CDC nearly tripled between 2010 and 2015, reaching a 15-year high. CDC estimates that about 34,000 new hepatitis C infections occurred in the United States in 2015.
New hepatitis C infections are increasing most rapidly among young people, primarily due to increasing injection drug use associated with America’s opioid epidemic. However, the majority (three-quarters) of the 3.5 million Americans already living with hepatitis C are baby boomers, who are six times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than those in other age groups and are at much greater risk for death from the virus.
Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease reported to CDC. The data released today indicate that nearly 20,000 Americans died from hepatitis C-related causes in 2015, the majority aged 55 and older.
For more information, view the below resources:
- Press Release: New Hepatitis C Infections Nearly Tripled over Five Years
- Full Report: Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis – United States, 2015
- MMWR: State HCV Incidence and Policies Related to Preventive Services, and HCV Treatment Services for Persons Who Inject Drugs
- MMWR: Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Women Giving Birth — Tennessee and United States, 2009–2014
Media Summary: State HCV Incidence and Policies Related to Preventive Services, and HCV Treatment Services for Persons Who Inject Drugs