Hepatitis C 2003
*Rate per 100,000 population based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data as of July 1, 2003
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. During the three-year period 2001-2003, 17,126 cases of hepatitis C were reported. In 2003, there were 5,130 reported hepatitis C cases, for a rate of 83 cases per 100,000 population (Table 1). Laboratory reports often do not include racial information; consequently, an accurate comparison is not possible.
You can learn more about hepatitis C by visiting the following Web site: