HCV infection is the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States. Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NAHANES III), conducted during 1988-1994, indicate an estimated 3.9 million (1.8%) Americans are infected with HCV. Most people are asymptomatic and may not be aware of their infection. They are a source of transmission to others and are at risk for chronic liver disease or other HCV-related chronic diseases during the first two or more decades after initial infection. Population-based studies indicate that 40% of chronic liver disease is HCV-related. Chronic liver disease is the 11th leading cause of death in Washoe County in 2002. Most HCV-infected persons are 30-49 years of age. The number of deaths attributable to HCV-related chronic liver disease could increase substantially during the next 10-20 years as these persons reach ages at which complications from chronic liver disease typically occur.
On May 1, 2002, the Washoe District Health Department (WDHD) Communicable Disease (CD) Program began conducting surveillance for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Washoe County.
The objectives of this surveillance are:
- Identify new cases
- Estimate disease burden
- Characterize risk factors of infected patients
- Identify infected person who can be counseled and referred for medical follow-up or immunization
CDC Case Definition for Hepatitis C:
For results from other years, please refer to the hepatitis section of the Annual Communicable Disease Summary.