Hepatitis C on the rise in Wisconsin

Dr. Ryan Westergaard

A 29 percent increase in hepatitis C cases in the state of Wisconsin from 2008 to 2017 has public health officials searching for new ways to stem the tide of transmission.

Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH, associate professor, Infectious Disease, discussed the trend.

"The current epidemic of hepatitis C is almost completely driven by the increase in injection drug use due to the opioid epidemic. This is something that has been well-described in larger cities in the United States and in other countries," he said.

"As more people have become addicted and have struggled with opioid use, this has driven transmission of hepatitis C virus in dramatic ways in many communities across the country."