May 2015 (CDC – Viral Hepatitis – Hepatitis C Information)
The primary goals of conducting surveillance for viral hepatitis are to direct prevention and control activities for these diseases and to evaluate the impact of these activities.
In 2000, there were approximately 25,000 cases of acute viral hepatitis reported nationwide, including 14,000 cases of Hepatitis A and 8,000 cases of Hepatitis B. In addition, 1.25 million persons are chronically infected with HBV and 2.7 million are chronically infected with HCV. Any person with a hepatitis virus infection is a potential source of infection to others.
The investigation of infected persons can prevent further transmission by identifying contacts who require vaccination or other preventive interventions and by detecting outbreaks, determining the cause, and implementing appropriate control and prevention measures. Aspects of the epidemiology and prevention specific for each type of viral hepatitis need to be considered in developing surveillance systems for these diseases.