U.S. health officials said new cases of hepatitis C rose nearly 300 percent from 2010 to 2015, despite the availability of cures for the liver disease, fueled by a spike in the use of heroin and other injection drugs, according to a report released on Thursday.
In 2015, the national reported rate of hepatitis C was 0.8 per 100,000 persons with nearly 34,000 new infections, according to the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Access to clean syringes and a limit on Medicaid barriers to curative treatments for hepatitis C can reduce rates of death from the disease and transmission of the virus to others, the CDC said.
People have long felt stigmatized by the labels that go along with HCV, despite the fact that many cases have no risk factors and common exposures included routine blood transfusions. The newest surge correlating with a rise in injection drug use does not help the hundreds of thousands of baby boomers who are at risk due to exposure no matter how they got it.