In the United States, acute viral hepatitis most frequently is caused by infection with any of three distinct viruses: hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), or hepatitis C virus (HCV). These unrelated viruses are transmitted through different routes and have different epidemiologic profiles. Safe and effective vaccines have been available for hepatitis B since 1981 and for hepatitis A since 1995. No vaccine exists against hepatitis C. HBV and HCV can persist as chronic infections and represent a leading cause of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States.
Cases in 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, are compared with those from previous years.
Cases of acute viral hepatitis are reported voluntarily to CDC by state and territorial health departments via CDC's National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS). Reports are received electronically via CDC's National Electronic Telecommunications System for Surveillance (NETSS).
Acute hepatitis A incidence has declined 92%, from 12.0 cases per 100,000 population in 1995 to 1.0 case per 100,000 population in 2007, the lowest rate ever recorded. Declines were greatest among children and in those states where routine vaccination of children was recommended beginning in 1999. Acute hepatitis B incidence has declined 82%, from 8.5 cases per 100,000 population in 1990 to 1.5 cases per 100,000 population in 2007, the lowest rate ever recorded. Declines occurred among all age groups but were greatest among children aged <15 years. Following a peak in 1992, incidence of acute hepatitis C declined; however, since 2003, rates have plateaued. In 2007, as in previous years, the majority of these cases occurred among adults, and injection-drug use was the most common risk factor.
The results documented in this report suggest that implementation of the 1999 recommendations for routine childhood hepatitis A vaccination in areas of the United States with consistently elevated hepatitis A rates has reduced rates of infection. In addition, universal vaccination of children against hepatitis B beginning in 1991 has reduced disease incidence substantially among younger age groups. Higher rates of hepatitis B continue among adults, particularly among males aged 30-44 years, reflecting the need to vaccinate adults at risk for HBV infection. The decline in hepatitis C incidence after 1992 was attributable primarily to a decrease in incidence among injection-drug users. The reasons for this decrease were unknown but probably reflected changes in behavior and practices among injection-drug users.
The expansion in 2006 of recommendations for routine hepatitis A vaccination to include all children in the United States aged 12-23 months is expected to reduce hepatitis A rates further. Ongoing hepatitis B vaccination programs ultimately will eliminate domestic HBV transmission, and increased vaccination of adults with risk factors will accelerate progress toward elimination. Further prevention of hepatitis B and hepatitis C relies on identifying and preventing transmission of HBV or HCV in hospital and nonhospital health-care associated settings. In addition, prevention of hepatitis C relies on identifying and counseling uninfected persons at risk for hepatitis C (e.g., injection-drug users) regarding ways they can protect themselves from infection. Public health management of persons with chronic HBV or HCV infection will help to interrupt the transmission to susceptible persons, and their medical management will help to reduce the development of the sequelae from chronic liver disease.
"Hepatitis A disease in the United States has declined in incidence to 1 case in 100,000 . Patients develop abrupt onset of prodromal symptoms of malaise, joint pain (11%), right upper quadrant pain, and evanescent rash (14%) even weeks before developing jaundice (40% to 70%) in acute infection [2–4]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis A has a variety of associated extrahepatic manifestations that clinicians should be aware of for early diagnosis and treatment. We report a unique case of hepatitis A presenting with multiple extrahepatic manifestations not previously described in a single patient. A 34-year-old male presented with sudden onset of left sided facial pain, swelling, and skin rash, with diffuse body pains and muscle weakness, and was found to be positive for hepatitis A immunoglobulin M (IgM). He was initially started on antibiotics for concerns of bacterial parotitis but did not show any improvement. A punch biopsy of his mandibular rash and swelling was done which showed lymphohistiocytic infiltration with a few eosinophils. A trial of prednisone resulted in improvement of his symptoms. Clinicians should be aware to look for hepatitis A infection in a patient with atypical clinical picture causing a widespread systemic inflammatory response. Treatment with prednisone may result in resolution.
"The availability since 1982 of a safe and effective vaccine against the hepatitis B virus (HBV) has dramatically reduced the annual incidence of acute HBV infections from an estimated 13.8 cases per 100,000 population in 1987 to an estimated 1.5 cases per 100,000 population in 2007 [1, 2]. Nevertheless, one risk group with continued high incidence is injection drug users (IDUs) [3–5]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a vaccine preventable infection yet vaccination rates are low among injection drug users (IDUs) despite the high risk of infection and longstanding recommendations to promote vaccination. We sought to improve vaccination rates by reaching IDUs through syringe exchange programs (SEPs) in three U.S. cities.
IDUs were randomized in a trial comparing the standard HBV vaccination schedule (0, 1, and 6 months) to an accelerated schedule (0, 1, and 2 months) and participation data were analyzed to identify determinants of completion of the three-dose vaccine series. Independent variables explored included sociodemographics, injection and syringe access behaviors, assessment of health beliefs, HBV-associated knowledge, and personal health status.
Covariates associated with completion of the three-dose vaccine series were accelerated vaccine schedule (aOR 1.92, 95% CI 1.34, 2.58, p = <0.001), older age (aOR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03, 1.07, p = <0.001), and poorer self-rated health score (aOR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05, 1.5, p = 0.02). Completion was less likely for those getting syringes from SEP customers than for SEP customers (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.19, 0.58, p = <0.001).
SEPs should offer hepatitis vaccination in a manner that minimizes time between first and last visits by accelerating the dosing schedule. Public health interventions should target younger, less healthy, and non-SEP customer participants. Other health interventions at SEPs may benefit from similar approaches that reach out beyond regular SEP customers.
BMC Public Health 08/2014; 14(1):820. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-820 · 2.26 Impact Factor
"In contrast to the vast population of older adults with established HCV infection and low risk of transmission, PWIDs who are actively injecting drugs remain at high risk for both acquisition and transmission of HCV. The CDC estimates close to 18,000 new HCV infections per year, almost exclusively among PWIDs, with a 44% increase in the number of acute cases from 2010 to 2011.28 Several outbreaks of HCV infection among groups of PWIDs have also been noted in recent years, due in part to the vast expansion in opioid prescribing and subsequent transition to injection drug use that has occurred in communities across the US.29 PWIDs who initiated drug use with prescription opioids are less likely than long-time heroin users to perceive themselves as at-risk for blood-borne viral infections, and thus represent a large cohort of potential infections.30 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The US faces at least two distinct epidemics of hepatitis C virus infection (HCV), and due largely to revised screening recommendations and novel therapeutic agents, corresponding opportunities. As only 49%-75% of HCV-infected persons in the US are aware of their infection, any chance of addressing HCV in the US is dependent upon screening to identify undiagnosed infections. Most HCV in the US consists of longstanding infections among persons born during 1945-1965 who are suffering escalating rates of liver-related morbidity and mortality. Mathematical modeling supports aggressive action to reach and treat these persons to minimize the subsequent burden of advanced liver disease on patients and the health care system. Incident infection is primarily among persons who inject drugs, less than 10% of whom have been treated for HCV. Expanded screening and treatment of active persons who inject drugs raises the prospect of utilizing "treatment as prevention" to stem the tide of incident HCV infections in this population. HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) represent a population at risk for sexually transmitted HCV who may also benefit from adjusted screening guidelines to identify both acute and chronic infections. Prisoners also represent a critical population for aggressive screening and treatment. Finally, the two-stage testing algorithm for HCV diagnosis is problematic and difficult for patients and providers to navigate. While emerging therapeutics raise the prospect of reducing HCV-related morbidity and mortality, as well as eliminating new infections, major barriers remain with regard to identifying infections, improving access to treatment, and ensuring payer coverage of costly new therapeutic regimens.
Hepatic Medicine: Evidence and Research 07/2014; 6:79-87. DOI:10.2147/HMER.S40940
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