Evaluation of Acute Hepatitis C Infection Surveillance — United States, 2008

RM Klevens, DDS; RA Tohme, MD

Disclosures

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2010;59(43):1407-1410. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Introduction

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects nearly 4 million persons and causes an estimated 12,000 deaths each year in the United States.[1] For the 10-year period from 2010 to 2019, the direct medical cost of chronic HCV infection is projected to exceed $10.7 billion, the societal cost of premature mortality attributed to HCV infection is projected to be $54.2 billion, and the cost of morbidity from disability associated with HCV infection is projected to be $21.3 billion.[2] The Institute of Medicine recently recommended a comprehensive evaluation of the national hepatitis B and C surveillance system.[3] Complete and timely surveillance data are essential for early identification and response to outbreaks and for implementation of evidence-based prevention strategies. To assess these attributes, CDC compared acute hepatitis C surveillance data reported in 2008 from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP), which conducts enhanced surveillance for acute hepatitis C in selected states. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that 26 (22%) of 120 cases reported from EIP-funded sites were missing from NNDSS. Data on race and major HCV risk factors were missing from 22% and 60% of reports in NNDSS, compared with 8% and 25% of reports in EIP, respectively. The mean duration between diagnosis and reporting of the case to the state health department was 30 days (range: 0–298 days) in NNDSS compared with 19 days (range: 0–350 days) in EIP sites. These findings underscore that enhanced surveillance for acute hepatitis C improves the completeness and timeliness of the data.

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