Dr Helen Harris, a hepatitis expert at Public Health England said:
While there has been an increase in confirmed cases of hepatitis C infection, partly as a result of increased testing and partly because of improved laboratory reporting, sadly, many people chronically infected with hepatitis C remain unaware of their infection.
For many, it can be several years or even decades before they develop symptoms.
Antiviral therapies exist that will clear the virus in most cases, yet only around 3% of the chronically infected population in England access them each year.
If the number of people being treated is doubled over the next 10 years, around 6,000 new cases of hepatitis C-related end stage liver disease could be averted over the next 30 years.