The number of new nationally reported infections with the virus swelled from 850 in 2010 to 2,436 cases in 2015, with the highest rates among young people, mainly 20- to 29-year-olds, who inject drugs, according to a new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2015, the national reported rate of hepatitis C was 0.8 per 100,000 persons with almost 34,000 new infections, according to the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even scarier? The CDC estimates that rates are actually much higher-about 34,000 new infections a year-and that many people don't know they have it. The infection often produces no symptoms in its early stages, though it can lead to liver failure if left untreated. Treatment for hepatitis C exists, although it is expensive, which is why Medicaid patients are nearly always denied any treatment.
"This is primarily a result of increasing injection drug use associated with America's growing opioid epidemic", the CDC added.
Even with the new surveillance efforts, hepatitis C detection can be hard, particularly among younger patients who may be using drugs and are less likely get regular medical care.
HCV is said to be the most common form of hepatitis in the United States, which accounted for about 19,000 deaths in 2013. Hepatitis C can be cured with oral medications, which is why the critical factor is prevention. Those patients-in-waiting helped Gilead sell $12.49 billion of its hepatitis C pills in the U.S.in 2015, the biggest new drug introduction in history.
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Senior author Dr Carolyn Wester said the increase highlights the importance of ensuring that women of childbearing age have access to hepatitis C testing and treatment.
A new report from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center finds a startling rise in the number of newborn babies at risk for Hepatitis C.
Injecting heroin through shared needles can transmit the disease, but so can sharing straws to snort the illicit drug. One study indicates that 80 percent of young people with hepatitis C live more than 10 miles from an SSP.
The cause for this increase is attributed to the opioid epidemic, which affects rural parts of the country in particular. ME has also seen an increase in reported infections.
The committee, led by Dr. Strom, advises an aggressive plan to tackle hepatitis infection, including increased testing for the virus, diagnosis, treatment and prevention methods, such as needle exchanges. "Many of these people also have hepatitis c or the variants of hepatitis", Berryhill said. Still, the majority of the 3.5 million Americans who are living with HCV are those who were born between 1945 and 1965, namely baby boomers. Gee says she been forced to cut most mental health treatment services in the Medicaid program.