Week Ending March 8, 2022

Ware notes rise in hepatitis C cases
“The Health Department is concerned about an upward trend of hepatitis C viral infections occurring during COVID-19 pandemic — an issue selectmen will discuss at Tuesday’ meeting with the Board of Health.”

Health Care Usage Down With DAA Therapy for Chronic Hep C
“Among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, those who have sustained virological response (SVR) to direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy have reductions in measures of health care utilization compared with those who do not receive DAA therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.”

Hepatitis C Screening During Emergency Visit Improves Linkage to Care for Baby Boomers
“By screening people eligible for hepatitis C testing and providing follow-up support in a community emergency department, researchers found that linkage to care for those testing positive exceeded 90 percent, according to study results published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.”

Low dead space syringes reduce HCV incidence among people who inject drugs
“The use of low dead space syringes was associated with a 76% reduction in the odds of hepatitis C virus infection among people who inject drugs, according to a study of U.K. data.”

Fewer Than 1/3 of People Are Properly Screened for Hepatitis B Before Starting Immunosuppressant Medication
“Immunosuppressant medications for inflammatory arthritis can reactivate the hepatitis B virus, which could cause liver damage. It’s important to know your hepatitis B status first.”

A multi-level intervention to eliminate hepatitis C from the Region of Southern Denmark: the C-Free-South project
“Denmark has signed the WHO strategy to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV). In the absence of a national strategy for elimination, a local action plan was developed in the Region of Southern Denmark (RSD). The aim of the strategy is to diagnose 90% of HCV-infected persons and treat 80% of those diagnosed by 2025.”

Equine hepatitis viruses help us understand human hepatitis C
“More than 70 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. The disease is treatable, but it is often not recognized. In 80% of cases, it takes chronic courses and can lead to liver damage and even liver cancer. So far, there is no effective vaccine.”

HIV, HCV Testing Availability Stagnates Despite Growing Number of Substance Use Treatment Facilities
“Although thousands of new substance use disorder treatment facilities that offer medication for opioid use disorder were opened between 2017 and 2020, the proportion of facilities that also offered HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing hardly changed.”

Validation of coding algorithms for identifying people with viral hepatitis using claims data according to different standard references
“To assess the performance of various coding algorithms for identifying people with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) using claims data according to different reference standards (RSs) and study periods (SPs).”

Software Program Streamlines HCV Rx Access
“COVID-19 forced the hepatitis C virus (HCV) prior authorization (PA) team at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System to redesign its workflow to accommodate working from home. Previous generations of the PA team worked on-site at the medical center, where they could easily ask questions of Michelle T. Martin, PharmD, a clinical pharmacist for the health system and an associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy, both in Chicago.”

New recommendations for management of hep-B in Australia
“New recommendations for the management of hepatitis B in Australia have been released, with the authors aiming to improve awareness of chronic hepatitis B among clinicians and to increase detection of cases that currently remain undiagnosed.”