Increased Risk for Mother-to-Infant Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus Among Medicaid Recipients - Wisconsin, 2011-2015

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Oct 27;66(42):1136-1139. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6642a3.


State surveillance during the last 10 years reveals a nationwide increase in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among young adults (1). The proportion of infants born to HCV-infected women is also increasing nationally (2). To estimate the proportion of infants born to HCV-infected women and the frequency of confirmed HCV infection in their infants, maternal name and date of birth from HCV reports in the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) were linked to Wisconsin Medicaid data for 2011-2015 births. During this period, in the Wisconsin Medicaid population, the proportion of women who had evidence of HCV infection during pregnancy increased 93%, from 1 in 368 pregnancies to 1 in 192. Among 183 infants born to women with evidence of HCV viremia during pregnancy, 34% received recommended HCV testing (3). Mother-to-infant (vertical) transmission was documented in 4% of infants. Improvements in HCV screening practices among pregnant women and infants could enhance identification of infants at risk for vertical transmission of HCV.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Screening
  • Medicaid*
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Viremia
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology
  • Young Adult