Mother-to-infant HCV transmission risk on the rise in Wisconsin

The proportion of pregnant women with hepatitis C virus infection who receive Medicaid in Wisconsin has risen dramatically, suggesting an increased risk for mother-to-infant transmission, according to an MMWR.

As HCV infection among women of child-bearing age increases both in the Midwest state and nationally, clinicians must step up diagnostics and surveillance, researchers wrote in the report.

“Enhanced identification through HCV screening during pregnancy and public health follow-up to monitor infants at risk for vertical transmission are needed,” Theresa Watts, MPH, of the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing, and colleagues said.

To assess the risk for vertical HCV transmission in Wisconsin, the researchers examined data from reports of infection in the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System and childbirths among women on Medicaid in Wisconsin between 2011 and 2015.

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