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Hepatitis C virus. Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The rate of pregnant women with Hepatitis C was 5 times higher in 2015 than in 2000 due to the substantial level of opioid abuse in the U.S., according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday.

The big picture: 68% of pregnant women with Hepatitis C have opioid use disorder. Overall cases of the virus almost tripled in the past few years, an effect of the opioid crisis and the unsanitary use of needles by drug users, CDC previously reported.

By the numbers: Rates of pregnant women with Hepatitis C and opioid use disorder spiked 148%, from 87.4 to 216.9 per 1,000 deliveries. The rates among those who did not abuse opioids were much lower, increasing from 0.7 to 2.6 per 1,000 deliveries.

  • Native American women were significantly more likely to have a Hepatitis C infection or opioid use disorder diagnosis at delivery compared to non-Hispanic black women.
  • Non-Hispanic white women were the most likely to have a diagnosis of both at delivery.

Go deeper: Federal judge approves first safe U.S. injection site in Philadelphia

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.