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Advances in Hepititis C treatment
02:47 - Source: CNN

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2,436 new hepatitis C infections were reported in 2015 but CDC estimates it's really about 34,000

Hepatitis C infections among pregnant women increased 89% from 2009 through 2014, study says

CNN  — 

New hepatitis C virus infections in the United States nearly tripled between the years 2010 and 2015.

The number of new nationally reported infections with the virus swelled from 850 in 2010 to 2,436 cases in 2015, with the highest rates among young people, mainly 20- to 29-year-olds, who inject drugs, according to a new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, the CDC estimates the true number is much higher– about 34,000 new infections nationally for 2015 since hepatitis C has few symptoms and most newly infected people do not get diagnosed.

An estimated 3.5 million people, mainly baby boomers, in the United States currently have an infection with hepatitis C, which damages the liver. Symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, joint pain and jaundice. Last year, the agency reported a record number of fatalities from the virus occurred in 2014.