Heroin epidemic pushing up hepatitis C infections in US

  • Heroin epidemic pushing up hepatitis C infections in US

Heroin epidemic pushing up hepatitis C infections in US

The CDC reports that 75 percent of new cases of hepatitis C appear in people who inject drugs.

According to the agency's new surveillance data, reported cases of acute HCV infection increased more than 2.9-fold from 2010 through 2015, rising annually throughout this period.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 34,000 Americans contracted hepatitis C in 2015.

In the years between 2010 and 2015, scientists and medical health professionals noted the skyrocketing cases of hepatitis C virus infections.

"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".

Nevertheless, the CDC report said Wisconsin's laws aren't as comprehensive as states such as Maine, Nevada and Utah, where there are fewer barriers to needle exchange programs. He says they should also use syringe exchange programs, though there are only about half a dozen in the state.

The authors also stressed the need for a system to ensure all infants exposed to hepatitis C are monitored to see if they get the virus and offer care.

West Virginia, which has been ravaged by opioids, had the highest rate at 22.6 per live births.

"Providers need to be aware of this increased risk of hepatitis C in pregnant women and so that they are testing for it, especially in high prevalence areas", he said.

Women are increasingly giving birth to children infected with the liver disease hepatitis C, an 89% increase from 2009 to 2014, pediatrics experts reported on Thursday.

Researchers from this study found that rural communities in Tennessee and West Virginia were significantly impacted.

However, the majority (three-quarters) of the 3.5 million Americans already living with hepatitis C are baby boomers born from 1945 to 1965. The data released today indicate that almost 20,000 Americans died from hepatitis C-related causes in 2015, and the majority of deaths were people age 55 and older. "Heroin is generally injected and this comes with a risk of HCV and HIV".

"Taken together, this suggests that efforts targeted at preventing and expanding treatment for opioid use disorder may help mitigate some of the increases we see", Patrick said.

Second, there's a lack of accessibility to the treatments themselves due to limitations on reimbursement of payment for medications to treat the virus.

There is a cure for hepatitis C, but treatment costs about $50,000.

Heroin use is climbing in Pierce County and is bringing with it another potentially deadly partner: hepatitis C.

"They've been screened and found to be Hep C positive", Vemuri said. The results are not yet "water-tight", said Chung, but reinfection rates can be viewed from another angle: "Success can be had - and durable success can be had - in most of these patients". Treatment for hepatitis C exists, although it is expensive, which is why Medicaid patients are nearly always denied any treatment.