Heroin epidemic pushing up hepatitis C infections in US
Heroin epidemic pushing up hepatitis C infections in US
Hepatitis C infections tripled in five years
13 May, 2017, 10:34
The main driver behind this is the ongoing opioid epidemic the US is facing, particularly heroin and other injection drugs.
The states that have been hit the hardest by the ongoing drug problem appeared to have the worst rates in Hepatitis C cases. The virus is spread by sharing needles to inject drugs, and the increase coincided with a surge in heroin use.
Besides living in rural areas, moms with hepatitis C were more likely to be single and to smoke than others.
What's more, even if therapy can cure about 90 percent of hepatitis C patients, the CDC still recommends stricter public health laws and policies to help reduce the onset of new hepatitis C cases along with the heroin epidemic. Chronic infection can lead to cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. Unlike hepatitis A and B, there's no vaccine for hepatitis C and it can be fatal if not treated. Some people may feel briefly unwell and in rare cases may become jaundiced (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
"Approximately 85 percent of individuals will not show any sort of symptoms, so no Jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes, abdominal pain and so on", he said. Only use your own equipment and do not pass it on to others. In addition, people who are pricked with discarded, contaminated needles or emergency responders who are poked can get the disease.
If you don't know someone's sexual history, use a condom. She's the medical director for HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and viral hepatitis at the Tennessee Department of Health.
If you are considering having body piercing, ear piercing, a tattoo, semi-permanent make-up or acupuncture, whether in this country or overseas, make sure that any equipment used is sterile.
The study finds marked increases in rural areas of Tennessee and in West Virginia, where one in 50 babies are born exposed to Hepatitis C. Researchers found wide variations in hepatitis C prevalence at delivery.
A new report released Thursday finds that hep C infections among pregnant women almost doubled from 2009 to 2014.
Dr. Lynne Saddler, district director of the Northern Kentucky Health Department, noted that the region is seeing hepatitis C primarily in young adults, with the biggest age range for infection being 25 to 34.
In some counties in Tennessee, nearly 8 percent of women were infected with Hepatitis C, a virus that can impact the liver, at the time of birth.
While new medicines can now cure hepatitis C virus infections in as little as two to three months, many people in need of treatment are still not able to get it. HHS recently released the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, 2017-2020 that sets goals for improving prevention, care, and treatment of viral hepatitis and puts the nation on a course toward eliminating new hepatitis infections.
Researchers urge ensuring women of childbearing age and infants exposed to the virus have access to hepatitis C testing and treatment. And while the most rapidly increasing group of reported cases is among younger people, the majority of existing cases of the among Baby Boomers.
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