Rates of hepatitis C infection remain high, even with new cures available.
Despite breakthrough drugs that changed the prognosis for patients with hepatitis C over the last decade, disease-related deaths remain at an all-time high, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Hepatitis C, which is caused by a virus that infects the liver, kills more people in the United States (nearly 19,659 in 2014) than any other infectious disease including HIV, pneumococcal disease and tuberculosis. CDC officials believe the numbers are low because of underreporting.
Just as disturbing is the fact that people most at risk are unaware they may have been exposed. Baby boomers, the estimated 75 million Americans born between 1945 and 1965, are at highest risk. Technologies that improved the safety of routine injections and blood transfusions did not exist for many years after World War II. Without treatment, patients could develop liver cancer and other life-threatening diseases. However, most experience no symptoms.
“Chronic hepatitis C patients may often have no symptoms to prompt them to have testing done. At times, liver enzymes may be elevated, but often can normalize and such mild abnormalities may go unnoticed,” said Melissa Franco, D.O., a family medicine physician with Baptist Health Primary Care.
Read Full Article: Baby Boomers Most at Risk for Hepatitis C
|Read Full Article: Baby Boomers Most at Risk for Hepatitis C|