2005 - Hepatitis C
*Rate per 100,000 population based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data as of July 1, 2005
Hepatitis C is the leading chronic bloodborne infection in the United States. The number of reported cases is actually the number of positive hepatitis C tests reported for the first time during that year. Fifteen to 20 percent of these cases can spontaneously clear the virus and no longer be infected.
Clinically defined cases of acute hepatitis C do not often occur. Eighty-five percent of infected individuals will be asymptomatic for decades. Symptoms that can be present during acute infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, abdominal pain, and/or jaundice. Twenty percent of cases will develop serious liver damage from hepatitis C, and 25 percent of those will need a liver transplant, develop liver cancer, or die.
Reporting positive hepatitis C laboratory tests was not required in Indiana until October 2000. In 2005, there were 5,370 reported hepatitis C cases, for a rate of 85.62 cases per 100,000 population (Table 1). Figure 1 shows reported cases of hepatitis C for the five-year period 2001-2005. Figure 2 shows age-specific rates were greatest for adults aged 40-49 years (198.68), followed by adults aged 50-59 years (162.48). Males (113.56) were almost twice as likely to be reported as females (58.42). Laboratory reports often do not include racial information. In 2005, race was not reported for over 40 percent of hepatitis C cases; consequently, an accurate comparison is not possible.
In 2005, 75 Indiana counties reported at least 1 case of hepatitis C. The case rates were highest for the following counties reporting five or more cases: Hendricks (470.7), Putnam (257.1), and Miami (224.6). Figure 3 shows counties reporting five or more cases of hepatitis C in 2005.
You can learn more about hepatitis C by visiting the following Web site: