June 29, 2015
In a new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers in Massachusetts found that less than 1% of acute cases of hepatitis C virus infection over the course of a decade in Massachusetts were reported to the CDC.
“The incidence of HCV can be likened to an ‘iceberg,’ in that only a fraction of cases — the proverbial ‘tip’ — is visible,” Arthur Kim, MD, division of infectious diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a press release. “That is due to the minimal symptoms that usually accompany acute HCV and the fragmented care available to those at highest risk, such as those who inject drugs. Many states have limited resources to track and identify HCV cases; and since even Massachusetts, where we have reasonable resources for HCV surveillance, found it difficult to report acute cases during the period we studied, it’s likely that national estimates have been based on inaccurate numbers.”