(GALVESTON, Texas) - New figures from the Centers for Disease Control suggest that new cases of the hepatitis C virus have remained stable since dropping dramatically in the early 1990s, reports WebMD.
Researchers attributed the dramatic drop in infections and the resulting stabilization to a decline in the use of needles by illicit drug users. Illicit IV drug use is now the most common cause of new HCV infections.
“New IV drug users are still being infected in high numbers, but they represent a very small percentage of the pool of people who are infected,” researcher Miriam J. Alter, PhD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, told WebMD.
Among other findings, researchers found that there was little evidence that tattoos and similar practices were responsible for major contributions to the number of HCV infections. A sizable portion -- 14 percent of new HCV infections -- occurred in people who admitted to having sex with an infected partner or multiple partners.
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