Hep C by the numbers
Butte County’s HCV stats
Butte County Public Health recently wrapped up a yearlong program that identified individuals with hepatitis C living in drug-treatment and homeless facilities, and numbers show the infection rate is much higher than that of the general population, according to a BCPH press release.
Approximately 7.5 percent of the individuals tested during the program—dubbed Spread the Word, Not the Virus—were positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV), said Ellen Michels, the BCPH educator who coordinated the program. An additional 7 percent of people entering these high-HCV-risk-populated facilities already tested positive for HCV before the program began, bringing the total infected to 14.5 percent. In the general population, an estimated 2 percent of individuals are infected with the virus.
HCV is a blood-borne virus that causes cirrhosis of the liver and potentially cancer. It is transmitted through contact with someone else’s blood.