CDC: Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report Marks Increases in Hep B, Hep C

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.

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About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments’ best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO’s communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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