Viral Hepatitis C, 2014
In 2014, 40 cases of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (0.7 per 100,000) were reported. In 2012, the case definition for acute hepatitis C changed to include documented asymptomatic seroconversion. Of the 40 acute cases, 1 (3%) was an asymptomatic, laboratory-confirmed acute HCV infection.
Twenty-two (55%) cases resided in Greater Minnesota. The median age of all cases was 33 years (range, 18 to 62 years). Twenty-five (63%) cases were female. Race was known for 32 cases; of those 23 (72%) were white, 7 (22%) were American Indian, 1 (3%) was black, and 1 (3%) was Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Hispanic ethnicity was reported for 2 (5%) cases.
We received 2,237 reports of newly identified anti-HCV antibody-positive or HCV PCR-positive persons in 2014, the vast majority of whom are chronically infected. A total of 43,543 persons are estimated to be alive and living in Minnesota with past or present HCV infection. The median age of these cases is 56 years. Because most cases are asymptomatic, medical providers are encouraged to consider each patient’s risk for HCV infection to determine the need for testing. Patients for whom testing is indicated include: persons born between 1945 and 1965; persons with past or present injection drug use; recipients of transfusions or organ transplants before July 1992; recipients of clotting factor concentrates produced before 1987; persons on chronic hemodialysis; persons with persistently abnormal alanine aminotransferase levels; health care, emergency medical, and public safety workers after needle sticks, sharps, or mucosal exposures to HCV-positive blood; and children born to HCV-positive women. Infants born to HCV-infected mothers should be tested at 12 to 18 months of age, as earlier testing tends to reflect maternal antibody status. Persons who test positive for HCV should be screened for susceptibility to hepatitis A and B virus infections and immunized appropriately.
- For up to date information see>> Hepatitis C
- Full issue>> Annual Summary of Communicable Diseases Reported to the Minnesota Department of Health, 2014