One disease that appears to becoming more prominent is hepatitis C, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This comes as a surprise to many as the viral disease was once on the decline, Now, local New York news source Your News Now (YNN) reported that the condition is becoming more common among young adults.
"It looks like there is perhaps an increasing return in teenagers and young adults to injection drug use," John Ward, M.D., the Director of the Viral Hepatitis Division at the CDC, told YNN.
However, this isn't the only way that the infection can be spread. Hepatitis C can be transmitted sexually, meaning it can go from person-to-person via intercourse. Health experts continue to stress the necessity to get tested for the virus, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.
"Three point two million Americans are living with Hepatitis C," Ward added. "And most of the people who have it are unaware of their infection because it is a silent infection until a very advanced stage of liver disease develop."
Hepatitis C and its symptoms
Hepatitis C can lie dormant within the body for up to six months before individuals begin to exhibit symptoms, according to the World Health Organization. About 80 percent of people do not show symptoms of the disease, which makes it difficult to detect in a timely manner.
When hepatitis C is allowed to linger without treatment, it can infect the liver and eventually lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer, which can be fatal. The fact that it can be transmitted sexually casts a spotlight on the need for sexual protection. A condom may be able to prevent the spreading of hepatitis C as well as other STDs such as gonorrhea and syphilis.