THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) — More fallout via the U.S. opioid epidemic: Wisconsin has seen a near doubling of women on Medicaid who develop the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in pregnancy.
In turn, This specific has fueled a rise in babies born with the dangerous infection.
Widespread injection drug use has triggered rapid increases of hepatitis C infections among young adults nationwide, according to a brand-new report via the U.S. Centers for Disease Control along with Prevention. Such drug use is actually seen as fallout via the opioid epidemic, as more people turn to injection drugs after becoming addicted to prescription painkillers.
The CDC said most people today get hepatitis C by sharing needles or additional injectable drug equipment.
This specific means more babies are exposed to the liver-damaging virus from the womb, with mother-to-child transmission occurring in about 6 percent of cases nationwide, the CDC said.
“The study highlights the need to educate mothers about the risk of transmitting hepatitis C to the infant,” said Dr. Mariecel Pilapil, an internist along with pediatrician at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in brand-new Hyde Park, N.Y. Pilapil wasn’t involved from the current study.
along with, that will education needs to include teaching women the risk factors for getting hepatitis C themselves, she added.
The study comes just as President Trump is actually supposed to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency on Thursday, in his first major speech on the heroin along with prescription painkiller crisis.
Health care providers can protect babies by testing women of childbearing age for hepatitis C along with curing those with the infection, said the research team led by Theresa Watts, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing.
Watts along with her colleagues wanted to see whether pregnant women along with their infants were being tested for hepatitis C. They analyzed 2011-2015 data via Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, the publicly funded insurance plan for the poor.
Mirroring national findings, the proportion of pregnant women with hepatitis C increased 93 percent during that will time, the researchers found.
The birth rate for mothers infected with the hepatitis C virus went via 2.7 percent to more than 5 percent.
yet only about one-third of infants born to infected mothers were tested, with the virus detected in 4 percent of them, according to the study.
“I was shocked by the low screening rate of infants born to hepatitis C positive mothers,” Pilapil said, adding that will there’s a need to collaborate with obstetricians to check an expectant mom’s hepatitis C status before delivery.
The study authors agreed. “As the rate of HCV [hepatitis C] infection among women of childbearing age continues to improve nationally, practices for screening pregnant women for HCV along with for monitoring infants born to HCV-infected mothers should be increased,” they wrote.
Their recommendations: Test all pregnant women with hepatitis C risk factors along with provide better monitoring of infants at risk of maternal transmission.
Signs of hepatitis C infection in infants often appear slowly. While some cases may be mild, others can be severe along with require liver transplantation, the report said.
The findings appear from the CDC’s Oct. 27 Morbidity along with Mortality Weekly Report.
— Margaret Farley Steele
Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
SOURCE: Oct. 27, 2017, U.S. Centers for Disease Control along with Infection, Morbidity along with Mortality Weekly Report
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