May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, an event initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2012. The CDC just released Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis – United States, 2013, giving the latest statistics on hepatitis A, B, and C. Here is a summary:
- 19,368 people died from hepatitis C in 2013. This is 718 more people than in 2012. Another way of looking at this is that in 2012, the average daily death from hepatitis C is 51 people; now it is 53.
- More than half of all the HCV-related deaths in 2013 occurred among 55 to 64 year olds.
- There was an increase in the reported number of acute hepatitis C cases. Kentucky has the highest rate at 5.1 per 100,000. West Virginia followed at 3.1 and Indiana had 2.7.
This report is especially discouraging in light of the fact that hepatitis C is a preventable, curable disease. You can help. Each day in May, I will be posting tips for increasing hepatitis C awareness to my other blog at Hep. Hope you will join in and help us reach the millions of Americans who do not know they have hepatitis C.