New hepatitis C infections nearly tripled over five years (USA)

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15 May 2017

Over just five years, the number of new hepatitis C virus infections reported to CDC has nearly tripled, reaching a 15-year high, according to new preliminary surveillance data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease reported to CDC. The data indicate that nearly 20,000 Americans died from hepatitis C-related causes in 2015, and the majority of deaths were people ages 55 and older.

“By testing, curing, and preventing hepatitis C, we can protect generations of Americans from needless suffering and death,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “We must reach the hardest-hit communities with a range of prevention and treatment services that can diagnose people with hepatitis C and link them to treatment. This wide range of services can also prevent the misuse of prescription drugs and ultimately stop drug use – which can also prevent others from getting hepatitis C in the first place.”

Hepatitis C spreading rapidly in new generations, but boomers bear biggest burden

New hepatitis C virus infections are increasing most rapidly among young people, with the highest overall number of new infections among 20- to 29-year-olds. This is primarily a result of increasing injection drug use associated with America’s growing opioid epidemic.

However, the majority (three-quarters) of the 3.5 million Americans already living with hepatitis C are baby boomers born from 1945 to 1965. Baby boomers are six times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than those in other age groups and are at much greater risk of death from the virus.

While surveillance data do not accurately capture hepatitis C infection rates among infants, other recent CDC studies indicate that hepatitis C virus infections are growing among women of childbearing age – putting the youngest generation of Americans at risk. Hepatitis C treatment not only cures the vast majority of people living with the virus, but also prevents transmission to their partners and children.

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(D.L.D Commentary — “We hear that Australia distributes 100s of thousands of clean syringes each year, without accountability what so ever, yet their BBV (Blood Borne Virus) Stats are increasing So, is more taxpayer funded  syringes making the BBV issue worse or better? Are the new STI’s that are being spread the result of ‘dirty’ or shared needles, or actually the result of unprotected sex by people who are ‘high’, ‘stoned’, ‘wasted’ on the illicit drugs that taxpayer funded ‘health’ resources (NSP’s/SSP’s) equipped them to use?”)



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