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IDPH Launches Coalition in Effort to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis in Illinois

Hush Naidoo Jade Photography

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has launched a new effort to eliminate viral hepatitis in Illinois.

Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. Although it is a preventable disease, recent data indicates that the cases of hepatitis B and C have continued to rise in Illinois. According to the 2020 CDC National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance system, there was an increase in the Hepatitis C rate in Illinois from 1.2/per 100,000 population in 2019 to 1.6/per 100,000 in 2020, which was above the U.S average. Hepatitis B rates in Illinois have fluctuated over the last 5 years but remain below the national average in 2020.

This helped prompt the formation of the Illinois Hepatitis Coalition which held its inaugural meeting, bringing together clinicians, academic researchers, and community partners. Their goal is to formulate an equity-driven strategic plan to end the viral hepatitis epidemic in the state.

The work of the coalition is funded through a $1.5 million federal grant.

For more information about IDPH’s hepatitis prevention and treatment efforts, click HERE

Academic and community stakeholders seeking more information about the coalition are invited to email adebola.hassan@illinois.gov and cc Alyssa.stuck@illinois.gov.

Leah Lerner is a media writer, producer, and announcer at WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org.
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