“After several years of plateaued HCV incidence—generally 800-1000 new reported cases of acute HCV infection every year from 2003 through 2009—CDC started noting an increasing rate of acute HCV infection in 2010 that essentially doubled the incidence to more than 2100 cases by 2013. Because many people with acute HCV infection have no symptoms and may not be detected, evaluated, and subsequently reported to state health departments or CDC, we believe that these reports represent the tip of an iceberg and that almost 30,000 cases of acute HCV infection are now occurring yearly. What has been fueling this worrisome increase?
Early investigation in Massachusetts of persons with any diagnosis of HCV—acute or chronic—showed that many were occurring in young persons, usually younger than 24 years old. An investigation of these young persons showed that almost all were non-Hispanic, white PWIDs living in rural or suburban communities. Unlike the hepatitis C or HIV infections seen in injection-drug users in the past, these were almost as likely to be female as male. Subsequent CDC studies in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio confirmed these same characteristics of the HCV epidemic in those states. Newly or recently infected persons were generally young, usually white, living in nonurban communities, and of roughly equal gender distribution. In more than 400 interviews conducted to date, the average age of initial use of oral prescription opioids was 18 years, and followed by heroin use before age 20. In several instances, injection drug use was a “family affair,” with two or even three generations of injection-drug users living in the same household.”
Read more at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/856569
Source: Medscape.com – January 11, 2016