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About Hepatitis C Data

Tracking hepatitis C involves collecting confirmed tests results from laboratories to detect the virus. The test results are entered into the Iowa Disease Surveillance System (IDSS), the state of Iowa’s electronic database that collects, tracks and manages reportable infectious diseases.

This page provides general information about Hepatitis C data and measures displayed. Contact Us for more information about these data.

Information on this page:

How can we use this data?

  • Explore and visualize disease burden throughout Iowa at county and statewide levels.
  • Data can be viewed by individual year and as case counts or rates.
  • Provide information to the public about hepatitis C in Iowa.
  • State and local partners can use these data for program planning and evaluation.
  • Create prevention guidelines for targeted public awareness and prevention campaigns, especially to high risk population groups.

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What can these data not tell us?

  • The total burden of hepatitis C in a population, since not all cases are diagnosed or reported.
  • Where the person was when they were exposed to hepatitis C infection.
  • These data only represent reported cases of a particular infection.
  • There are a number of reasons why a case may not be reported:.
  • First, an individual must be diagnosed by a clinician.
  • People with hepatitis C are often asymptomatic, and many living with HCV never seek testing.
  • Gaps in the disease reporting system can also lead to cases not being reported.
  • The CDC estimates that 3.32 million persons are chronically infected, but the actual numbers might be much higher.
  • Getting a statewide picture of all of the hepatitis C infections in a county or the state is not currently feasible.

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What are the sources of these data?

  • Iowa Administrative Code 641 Chapter 1.
  • Iowa is a dual reporting state for hepatitis C infection, meaning that both the laboratory with the positive results and the clinician making the diagnosis are required to report.
  • Hepatitis C data are from both of these sources.
  • One of the reasons for dual reporting is that laboratories rarely have all needed information.
  • Lab test results for hepatitis C are referred to the Iowa Disease Surveillance System (IDSS), where each case is combined, de-duplicated, tracked and managed.

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How are the measures calculated?

  • Case Count: The case count indicates the total number of confirmed hepatitis C reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • Incidence Rate (Per 100K): The incidence rate is the total number of confirmed of hepatitis C reported per 100,000 population.

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How are Hepatitis C cases identified?

  • Potential cases are reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health by physicians and diagnostic laboratories.
  • Each confirmed case of hepatitis C has met a set of national standards that define the disease for public health surveillance set by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Where can I find more information about the data?

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Where can I find more technical information about the data?

  • Contact Us to learn more about hepatitis C data, or any of the measures displayed on the Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal.

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