Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis – United States, 2017

Each week, health departments report cases of hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). CDC aggregates the information to conduct ongoing viral hepatitis surveillance nationwide.  


Hepatitis A is an acute infection that can result in mild illness or be severe enough to result in hospitalization or, in rare cases, death. Hepatitis A has been a vaccine preventable disease since the hepatitis A vaccine first became available in 1995. Incidence rates decreased more than 95% from 1995 to 2011, then increased by 140% from 2011 to 2017. Until 2017, US incidence rates were influenced by occasional outbreaks, often linked to imported food, and from time-to-time among non-immune persons. In 2017, large person-to-person outbreaks began occurring among persons who use drugs and persons experiencing homelessness.

Hepatitis A Tables and Figures


Hepatitis B often occurs as an acute infection that may or may not be identified or reported. Later, a chronic infection may develop. Hepatitis B is a vaccine preventable disease and reported cases of acute hepatitis B declined from 1990–2014 after routine vaccination of children was recommended. Injection drug use is a major risk factor associated with acute hepatitis B cases in the US. Chronic hepatitis B infections primarily occur among persons born outside the US in countries with intermediate or high rates of hepatitis B prevalence. Chronic hepatitis B infection can be treated and managed clinically but cannot be cured. Hepatitis B Tables and Figures


Hepatitis C occurs as an acute infection that is most often asymptomatic and frequently develops into a chronic infection. New cases of acute hepatitis C have increased rapidly in the US since 2010, and have most often been associated with injection drug use. There is no vaccine against hepatitis C, but short-term treatment for chronic hepatitis C can clear the virus and cure the infection. Hepatitis C Tables and Figures