Hepatitis C In The US: Death Rate Reaches All-Time High; New Cases Also On The Rise

By Daniel Joseph, Parent Herald May 06, 04:00 am

Despite recent developments in medication against most infections, the death rate of Hepatitis C in the U.S. has reached an all-time high. The number of deaths caused by hepatitis C in 2014 also surpassed the total number of combined deaths from 60 other infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.

So why is the death rate for hepatitis C in the U.S. increasing despite the advancements in treatment? "Not everyone is getting tested and diagnosed, people don't get referred to care as fully as they should, and then they are not being placed on treatment," said CDC viral hepatitis division director Dr. John Ward, per CNN.

Dr. Ward also noted that the number of new cases has also increased. "Due to limited screening and underreporting, we estimate the number of new infections is closer to 30,000 per year," Ward shared.

A possible risk factor for acquiring hepatitis C is having a history of injectable drug use. The CDC analyzed data from 2010-2014 and found out that many new cases of hepatitis C in the U.S. are people who have used injectable drugs in the past.

There are different ways to prevent getting infected with hepatitis C. According to Hep, these include avoiding injectable drugs if possible, avoiding unsafe sex and not sharing toothbrush or razors.

Hepatitis C is a viral disease which results in the inflammation of the liver. Approximately 3.5 million Americans suffer from chronic hepatitis C. The citizens need to cooperate and work together with the government in order to reduce the death rate and new cases of hepatitis C in the U.S.

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