Nearly 2.4 million Americans are living with Hepatitis C and the amount of new infections each year is “disturbingly high” and growing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week. The number of reported cases more than tripled from 2010 to 2016 nationwide, with most new infections due to increased injection drug use associated with the opioid epidemic, primarily among adults under 40. “The shadow of the opioid crisis puts our nation’s progress at risk,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “Tackling hepatitis C requires diagnosing and curing people living with the virus and cutting off new infections at the source.” According to the CDC, Hepatitis C also poses a serious health threat to baby boomers, who have the highest rate of hepatitis C-related deaths, and infants born to mothers with the disease.

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