Case Study

Enhanced Hepatitis C Surveillance and Prevention

Tags: Health

Macomb County, Mich.

Along with the current national and local heroin and opioid epidemic, Macomb County experienced a significant increase in the number of reported Hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease in young adults 18 to 29 years of age. As limited resources are available for follow-up with chronic HCV infected persons, and injection drug use is a risk factor for contracting HCV, there was a need for more comprehensive data and follow-up on reported cases. Macomb County Health Department implemented an initiative to address this severe gap by supported a part-time public health nursing position. The nurse focused on enhanced surveillance by conducting follow-up investigations on 120 chronic cases of HCV in young adults to obtain more comprehensive epidemiological information from physicians and cases to inform intervention efforts. These follow-up investigations provided an opportunity to locate the case, identify contacts, and provide education. The resulting enhanced HCV surveillance data and expanded testing provided opportunities to improve collaboration with community partners, identified new cases, and increased awareness of HCV risk factors. Expanded testing in the STD clinic resulted in identifying new cases of Hepatitis C by offering testing to this population. Of those that agreed to test (2139), 2% (33) had positive laboratory results and did not previously know their status. The program supported additional knowledge about the epidemiology and needs of persons infected with HCV in the county, informed better connections to needed services, and increased awareness in other sectors of the community.

Ms. Sarah Cormier 
Communications Specialist

About 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work

Counties play an essential role in keeping America’s communities healthy, vibrant and safe. With public and private sector partners, we pursue innovative approaches to advance public health and well-being, protect public safety and foster economic strength and resiliency. Counties anticipate and adapt to challenges by thinking outside the box and demonstrating local leadership that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Under the leadership of NACo Immediate Past President Bryan Desloge, NACo embarked on an initiative to identify and share 100 examples of visionary county leadership that results in improving residents’ quality of life. Through this initiative, NACo worked with county leaders and partners to share best practices that bolster our nation’s ability to thrive county by county.

See All 100 Brilliant Ideas