The heroin epidemic is driving up hepatitis C infections, with the biggest increase in people in their 20s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week.
The number of new infections nearly tripled in five years, to about 2,400 in 2015. The numbers could be higher. The virus is spread by sharing needles to inject drugs, and the increase coincided with a surge in heroin use. Most people don’t get sick for many years, so they aren’t tested and don’t know they are infected. The CDC estimates that the number of infections in 2015 was 34,000, or twice as many as in 2010. The biggest jump in new infections is in people ages 20 to 29.