Home > Hepatitis C surveillance in 2004.

Long, Jean (2006) Hepatitis C surveillance in 2004. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 17, Spring 2006, p. 15.

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According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s annual report for 2004,1 infectious disease notifications increased by 62% in 2004 when compared to 2003. Hepatitis C accounted for a considerable portion of this increase. The increase in notifications came about as a result of an amendment to the Infectious Diseases Regulations, which came into effect on 1 January 2004, whereby clinicians and diagnostic laboratories are now legally obliged to report hepatitis C as well as other notifiable diseases.

There were 1,154 cases of hepatitis C reported in 2004, compared to 85 cases of hepatitis type unspecified2 in 2003. Of the cases reported in 2004, 954 were notified by the HSE Eastern Region and 200 by HSE areas outside the Eastern Region. Each of the seven HSE areas outside the HSE Eastern Region reported cases of hepatitis C. The HSE North Western Area reported five cases (lowest number) while the HSE Southern Area reported 45 cases (highest number). The average number of cases reported in the seven HSE areas outside the HSE Eastern Region was 29 cases. Three out of every five hepatitis C cases reported were male. Of the 1,132 cases for whom age and gender was known, 83% were aged between 20 and 44 years. It is estimated that 90% of people with chronic hepatitis C in developed countries are current or former injecting drug users or have received unscreened blood or blood products.

There is no enhanced surveillance system for hepatitis C in Ireland. Enhanced surveillance is essential to identify risk factors and for planning prevention and treatment strategies. Risk-factor identification is required to fulfil the basic requirements of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction’s key indicator on drug-related infectious diseases.  

1. Health Protection Surveillance Centre (2005) Annual Report 2004. Dublin: Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

2. Disease category under which hepatitis C cases were notified up to the end of 2003.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Issue Title
Issue 17, Spring 2006
January 2006
Page Range
p. 15
Health Research Board
Issue 17, Spring 2006
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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