This article first appeared on our sister brand ContagionLive.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report—United States, 2021, It details the incidence rates during this period. Although acute infection rates for hepatitis A and B have declined, the report’s authors note that the impact of the pandemic may not provide accurate statistics due to various factors. Additionally, hepatitis C incidence did increase during this period.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released 2023 National Viral Hepatitis Progress Report Provide some perspective on progress towards the 2025 outcome targets for new viral hepatitis infections and viral hepatitis-related deaths overall and for key populations.
Here are some of the key findings from the report:
The authors explained that in 2021, the reported incidence of hepatitis A decreased for the second consecutive year. The CDC said the incidence rate dropped 43% from 2020 to 2021. The total number of new cases is 5,728, equivalent to an estimated 11,500 infections.
“By the end of 2021, 14 of 37 states had declared the end of widespread and prolonged hepatitis A outbreaks associated with person-to-person transmission, primarily among drug users and the homeless,” the authors write. “These outbreaks demonstrate the importance of surveillance to identify cases and vaccination to prevent and respond to hepatitis A.”
For hepatitis B, the number of new virus infections fell in 2020 and 2021. According to the report, 47 states reported 2,045 hepatitis B cases, equivalent to an estimated 13,300 infections. The authors report that hepatitis B infection rates have remained stable over the years; however, infection rates dropped significantly in 2020 and fell again by 14% in 2021.
The authors noted that while 2 indicators of new hepatitis B infections met annual targets for 2021, they wrote, “It is difficult to determine the extent to which lower infection rates are attributable to true reductions in disease burden related to COVID-19.” The impact of the – 19 19 pandemic has impacted access to health care, hepatitis testing and the ability of health departments to investigate viral hepatitis cases.”
In terms of mortality, the hepatitis B-related death indicator did not meet the 2021 annual target; however, hepatitis B-related mortality may be affected by the overall increase in deaths during the pandemic.
The authors say there is an urgent need for public health departments to continue the CDC’s work, improve testing, and connect people to continuity of care.
Data on the virus continues to show disturbing trends. Between 2020 and 2021, the infection rate increased by 14%. This comes after the incidence of hepatitis C doubled between 2014 and 2020.
There were 5023 reported cases of hepatitis C (HCV) and an estimated 69,800 people infected, with 107,540 newly reported cases reported in 43 states.
In addition, there are some other key points for people infected with HCV: Injection drug use was the most common risk factor, accounting for 57%.
“Hepatitis C mortality rates among non-Hispanic American Indians (AI/Alaska Natives (AN)) and non-Hispanic blacks are 3.4 times and 1.7 times the mortality rates among non-Hispanic whites, respectively.” This suggests continued differences between these groups. challenges faced.
Impact of the pandemic
The pandemic may have affected incidence rates. “The findings in this report should be interpreted with caution,” the authors wrote. “The number of viral hepatitis cases reported to CDC in 2020 and 2021 may be lower than in the years before the COVID-19 pandemic began. This decrease may be related to seeking health care and receiving testing for viral hepatitis during the COVID-19 pandemic related to the decrease in the number of people.”