Hepatitis C in Allegheny County: 2015-2016
Abstract: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a bloodborne infection that causes both acute and chronic hepatitis that may lead to liver disease, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. Hepatitis C is a national and global public health problem. About 71 million people globally are chronically infected with hepatitis C and an estimated 3-4 million are chronically infected with hepatitis C in the United States. Annually, about 399,000 people die worldwide from hepatitis C infection and approximately 20,000 people die from HCV-related liver disease in the U.S. Most people with hepatitis C infection are asymptomatic and about half of people do not know that they are infected. Hepatitis C is a reportable disease in Pennsylvania; therefore, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) receives reports of hepatitis C for residents of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The purpose of this study is to describe the reported past/present hepatitis C cases in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, from 2015 to 2016. Disease surveillance is important to public health because it helps identify which populations need interventions to prevent transmission of the disease and decrease disease cases.