Health Officials Warn Of Hepatitis “Epidemic”

 BOSTON (AP) – Health officials are warning Massachusetts is facing an “epidemic” of Hepatitis C virus infections among adolescents and young adults, particularly those who are injection drug users.
 
The cases were reported from all areas of the state, occurred predominantly among non-Hispanic whites, and were equally distributed among males and females.
 
The increase came as overall Hepatitis C infections have dropped or leveled off according to the study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
From 2002 to 2009, rates of newly reported Hepatitis C infections, confirmed and probable, among those aged 15 to 24 increased from 65 per 100,000 individuals to 113 per 100,000 individuals.
 
State epidemiologist Dr. Alfred DeMaria said the spike in Hepatitis C infections could be related to a rise in heroin use in Massachusetts.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

More From CBS Boston

Summer of Savings
Download Weather App

Listen Live