In some ways the situation is good: There are vaccines for hepatitis A and B, and chronic hepatitis has encouraging treatment outcomes. More importantly, the situation seems to be improving: new treatments and vaccines are being researched. With progress like this, the numbers of new infections should continue to fall.
- What Is Hepatitis?
- What Are Symptoms of Hepatitis?
- Diagnosing Hepatitis
- Treating Hepatitis
- Living with Hepatitis
- Preventing Viral Hepatitis
- Each year there are about 32,000 new hepatitis A virus infections in the United States. This number has to be estimated because, often, hepatitis A infection will have no symptoms and the disease will go unreported.
- Fewer people are getting infected every year. Since 1995, infection rates in the United States have dropped 89%. This was the year that the hepatitis A vaccine became available and is probably the reason for the drop in the number of cases.
- Each year there are about 46,000 new hepatitis B virus infections in the United States (based on 2006 projections). As with the number for hepatitis A, this number is also an estimate because many HBV infections have no symptoms and aren't reported.
- Fewer people are also getting hepatitis B infection each year. There's approximately an 80% drop in infections since 1991, when public health strategies began pushing for vaccination and prevention.
- There are maybe 1.4 million people with chronic hepatitis B infection in the United States, but worldwide, approximately 350 million people are infected. More than 500,000 people die from hepatitis B virus each year.
- Since acute infections often have no symptoms, new infections probably go unreported. It is estimated that there are approximately 19,000 new infections each year in the United States. As many as 85% of these people will become chronically infected.
- More than 3 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus in the United States and about 170 million people have hepatitis C infection worldwide. Up to 10,000 deaths from chronic HCV infection occur every year in the United States.
- Worldwide, hepatitis D virus infects more than 10 million people.
- As many as 20% of people infected with hepatitis D will die from the disease.
- Hepatitis E is a serious problem in Asia, Africa and Central America. It's rare in the United States.
- It can be a very dangerous disease for pregnant women, because almost 20% of those infected with the virus will die from hepatitis E.