May 11, 2017

New hepatitis C cases tripled over the past 5 years


The number of new hepatitis C cases in the U.S. has nearly tripled over the past five years, according to preliminary data released by the CDC. Cases of the deadly disease are concentrated among baby boomers (those over the age of 55), but new cases are rising rapidly among 20- to 29-year-olds, largely as a result of injection drug use.

The deadly facts: Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease reported to the CDC. Nearly 20,000 people died of hepatitis C-related causes in 2015, yet there are very few symptoms associated with an infection.

Why this is a big, growing problem: Half of the people living with it in America don't even know they have it, and most new infections go undiagnosed as well. So while the number of reported new cases rose from 850 in 2010 to 2,436 in 2015, CDC estimates there could actually be as many as 34,000 new hepatitis C cases now occurring each year.

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