This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released National Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report – United States, 2019, its annual report analyzing viral hepatitis trends in the United States. The report demonstrates that concerning trends in the spread of viral hepatitis continued in 2019, with cases of hepatitis A increasing 1325% and cases of acute hepatitis C increasing 63% since 2015. Meanwhile, progress against hepatitis B remains stalled.
According to the report, 18,846 acute cases of hepatitis A, 3,192 acute cases of hepatitis B, and 4,136 acute of hepatitis C were reported in 2019. However, CDC estimates that there were approximately of 37,700 cases of hepatitis A, 20,700 cases of hepatitis B, and 57,500 cases of hepatitis C in 2019.
Notably, for patients for which risk data were available, people who inject drugs accounted for 46% of people diagnosed with hepatitis A, 35% of people diagnosed with hepatitis B, and 67% of people diagnosed with hepatitis C, demonstrating the need to strengthen connections between hepatitis and harm reduction services and increase access to hepatitis services for people who inject drugs.
The report also includes new features, including demographic characteristics of persons with chronic hepatitis B and C; urbanicity status for hepatitis A, B, and C; and outcome data from CDC’s Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program. For additional information, check out the report here.
For additional information on the impact of viral hepatitis in the United States or the role of local health departments in hepatitis prevention and elimination here.