No 9 - 2012

Acute and chronic hepatitis C 2011
Free MMR vaccination for young adults
Changes at
SSI back on 5 Artillerivej

Acute and chronic hepatitis C 2011

Acute hepatitis C

2011 saw a total of nine notified cases of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection; six males aged 37-63 years and three females aged 38-52 years.

All three females were infected via intravenous (IV) drug abuse, which was also the case for one male. Four males were infected via homosexual contact and in the final male case, the source of infection was unknown.

Chronic hepatitis C

In 2011, a total of 232 cases of chronic HCV infection were notified, including 150 (65%) males, Table 1.

The median age was 45 years for both males (range 18-73 years) and females (range 19-75 years). Distribution by region, area and incidence per 100,000 is presented in Tabel 2.


A total of 199 (86%) were of Danish origin and 33 (14%) were of foreign origin. Foreigners were distributed on 24 nationalities.
The mode of infection is presented in Table 3.

Twelve persons were infected nosocomially, including six Danes, of whom four were infected in Denmark. All four had become infected by blood products prior to 1991 when HCV screening of donor blood was introduced. The final two Danes were infected after admission to hospitals in China and Africa, respectively.


In Denmark, HCV infection is primarily acquired via IV drug use. HCV infection rarely presents as an acute illness, as it is generally only diagnosed once the chronic stage has been reached. Consequently, the notified cases mainly represent chronic HCV cases which occurred many years ago.

Four of the six acute cases in males were notified as infection among men who have sex with men (MSM). This mode of infection is reported increasingly abroad, particularly among HIV-positive MSM. There seems to be an association with sexual practice involving damage to mucous membranes and thus a risk of bleeding.
The treatment options for HCV infection are continually being improved, and it is essential that HCV infected patients be referred to a specialised department

(B. Søborg, S. Cowan, Department of Epidemiology)

Free MMR vaccination for young adults

The Danish Parliament has decided that the 2012 budget will include an amount for financing an offer of free MMR vaccination for young adults who have not previously had one or more of the conditions or been vaccinated. The offer comprises persons born from 1974 to 1994, e.g. both before and after the 1987 introduction of MMR vaccination. The offer starts on 1 April 2012 and will initially remain open the rest of the year. The background is a wish to increase immunity in this age-group, particularly against measles. In the 2011 measles outbreak, about a third of the cases were young adults, EPI-NEWS 24/11. In conjunction with increased vaccination efforts among children, the vaccination offer for young adults will contribute to Denmark's completion of the WHO objective of eliminating measles and rubella in the European region by 2015.

The offer and its practical implementation will be described in a subsequent issue of EPI-NEWS.

(Department of Epidemiology)

Changes at

Earlier this year as part of a major restructuring of the Danish Ministry of Health, it was decided to solve the tasks of the National Board of E-health and a range of documentation tasks from the National Board of Health, the Danish Medicines Agency, and the Ministry, at Statens Serum Institut (SSI). This widening of tasks and responsibilities is now reflected in the main menu.

All information concerning products and services are now presented under the menu item "Order" (Danish language), and as from 1 March 2012, the new menu item: "Healthdata and ICT" will cover the new tasks.

(P. Sartvin, Department of Digital Communications)

SSI back on 5 Artillerivej

Last year, SSI changed address in connection with the Copenhagen Municipality work on Artillerivej, which was renamed “Orestads Boulevard”. Unfortunately, the new address has caused serious problems with regard to the registration of the SSI pharmaceuticals. Consequently, the SSI address has changed from: 5 Orestads Boulevard to: Statens Serum Institut, 5 Artillerivej 5, DK 2300 Copenhagen S.

In a transition period, letters, leaflets etc. may still carry the old address, and any mail to this address will reach us without delay. We would, however, like to encourage clients and business partners to use our new address.

(Statens Serum Institut)

29 February 2012