Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released preliminary viral hepatitis surveillance data. Now, the full scope of that data is available in CDC’s 2015 Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report. Highlights from the report include the following:
- The number of reported cases of hepatitis A increased 12.2% to 1,390 cases in 2015. After adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting, the estimated number of new HAV infections in 2015 was 2,800.
- The number of reported cases of acute hepatitis B increased 20.7% to 3,370 cases in 2015. After adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting, the estimated number of new HBV infections in 2015 was 21,900. In addition to acute cases of hepatitis B, chronic HBV infection remains a major public health challenge. CDC, using most recent national prevalence data, estimates that approximately 850,000 persons are living with HBV in the United States, although other studies have estimated this number to be as high as 2.2 million.
- The number of reported acute hepatitis C cases was 2,436 in 2015. This represents a more than 2.9-fold increase in cases from 2010 through 2015. The increase in acute HCV case reports reflects new infections associated with rising rates of injection-drug use, and, to a much lesser extent, improved case detection. After adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting, an estimated 33,900 new HCV infections occurred in 2015. Based on the data from national health surveys conducted in the 2003-2010 time period, approximately 3.5 million persons are currently infected with HCV.