Health officials in New York City are reporting an increase in newly reported cases of chronic hepatitis B, while at the same time, newly reported chronic hepatitis C cases dropped slightly.

Image/jrvalverde via pixabay
Image/jrvalverde via pixabay

From 2015 to 2016, there was a 9.4 percent increase in newly reported hepatitis B cases; the rise is likely due to screenings targeted at New Yorkers who were born in countries with a high prevalence of the virus.

In 2016, 8,439 people were newly reported with chronic hepatitis B, an increase from 7,719 in 2015.

The highest rate of chronic hepatitis B continues to be seen in Sunset Park, Brooklyn at 755.7 per 100,000 people. Other neighborhoods with high rates of chronic hepatitis B were Borough Park and Bensonhurst/Bay Ridge (Brooklyn), Flushing and West Queens (Queens), Greenwich Village/SoHo and Union Square/Lower East Side (Manhattan).

Newly reported chronic hepatitis C cases, meanwhile, declined slightly, from 4,171 in 2015 to 3,781 in 2016.

“Although we have made progress in expanding screenings and treatment for hepatitis B and C, we will not be satisfied until we see an end to hepatitis in New York City,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “We will continue to work with our community partners to expand access to treatment and reach communities that have been disproportionately affected by this disease. It is now easier than ever to get tested, and all New Yorkers should know their status.”

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