Hepatitis viruses can lead to chronic liver diseases, including cirrhosis and cancer. Hepatitis A incidence in 2010 was the lowest ever recorded in the United States . This reduction is a result, in part, to the recommendation in 1999 for the routine vaccination of children in certain states with consistently elevated rates. Also, since 2006, the Hepatitis A vaccine has been recommended for all children. 1
People with chronic Hepatitis B virus infection are at risk for premature death from liver cirrhosis and cancer. Hepatitis B incidence has declined 90% since the last nationwide outbreak in 1995. Since 1991, routine Hepatitis B vaccination of infants has reduced rates by more than 95% in children. Rates also have declined among adults, but a large proportion of cases continue to occur among adults with high risk behaviors. 1 The rates for new infections of acute Hepatitis B are highest among adults. 2
Incidence of acute Hepatitis C has declined 90% since 1992; however, a large burden of disease caused by chronic Hepatitis C virus infection remains. 1 There is currently no vaccine against the Hepatitis C virus, however recommendations for the prevention and control of Hepatitis C virus in high risk groups were issued by the CDC in 1998. 3 Despite the overall successes in the fight against viral Hepatitis, disparities still exist.
- In 2009, non-Hispanic Blacks were 50% more likely to die from viral hepatitis, as compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
- In 2010, American Indian/Alaska Natives were almost three times as likely to develop a case of Hepatitis C, as compared to the White population.
- In 2010, Asian Americans were 2.8 times more likely to contract Hepatitis A, as compared to Whites.
- Hispanics are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Hepatitis A than non-Hispanic Whites.
1CDC, 2009. Summary of Notifiable Diseases - United States , 2007, page 11 and page 59 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5653.pdf [PDF | 4MB]
2 CDC, 2006. A Comprehensive Immunization Strategy to Eliminate Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States . Part II: Immunization of Adults. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5516.pdf [PDF | 470KB]
3 CDC, 2011. Viral Hepatitis Surveillance - United States, 2009, page 3. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Statistics/2009Surveillance/index.htm
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