“More than 2 million Americans have hepatitis C — and the opioid epidemic is a major contributor to the problem, according to a new government study.

The study, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, does highlight progress against the potentially fatal liver disease. It also shows how much more work remains, CDC officials said. Between 2013 and 2016, the agency estimated, nearly 2.4 million Americans had hepatitis C infections. That’s a small decline from previous years. And the CDC said that may indicate the effects of new therapies that have changed the face of hepatitis C treatment in the past several years. But it’s also likely that deaths among older Americans with the infection account for part of the decline, the agency added.

While better treatment may be making a dent in hepatitis C cases, the new figures show that most Americans with the infection had not yet benefited by the end of 2016.”

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