• Text Resize A A A
  • Print Print
  • Share Share on facebook Share on twitter Share

High Prevalence of Hepatitis C Infection Among Adult Patients at Four Urban Emergency Departments

The latest MMWR from the CDC reports on high prevalence of HCV infection in Birmingham, Oakland, Baltimore, and Boston.

Identifying persons with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has become an urgent public health challenge because of increasing HCV-related morbidity and mortality, low rates of awareness among infected persons, and the advent of curative therapies.

In the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), researchers report on HCV infections at four urban emergency departments.

What is already known about this topic?

Targeted testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in emergency departments (EDs) has been demonstrated to be a high-yield and effective intervention for identifying previously unrecognized infections, especially among persons born during 1945–1965.

What is added by this report?

Opt-out, universal HCV screening in EDs identified that nearly half (47.5%) of infections were among persons born after 1965.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Opt-out, universal screening in EDs can identify a larger number of previously unrecognized HCV infections, especially among persons born after 1965. ED-based opt-out, universal hepatitis C screening can be vital in combating and surveilling the interrelated epidemics of opioid overdose and bloodborne viral infections through harm-reduction interventions and navigation to HCV treatment.

To read the full MMWR, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6919a1.htm

Posted In: 
Health Data
Prevention and Wellness
Public Health and Safety
Tagged: Hepatitis C