Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hep C updates

The Montefiore Medical Center in New York is now urging members of the baby boomer population to get tested for hepatitis C, as they are more likely to have shared unsanitary needles because of tattoos, drug use, piercings or blood transfusions. Hep C can be asymptomatic for years, and the worry is that many people from this generation might be carrying the virus without knowing it. With a blood test and treatment from two new drugs that were released last May, doctors are seeing almost double the cure rate of the disease as they have in the past. There is still no vaccine to prevent the infection and, if left untreated, hep C can lead to liver failure or cancer, which is why doctors are pushing for people to get tested.

In other Hep C news, this week Delhi became the first city in India to offer Hepatitis C screening. Additionally, the government is offering to provide financial help to poor citizens who need a liver transplant as a result of Hep C.

-Emily Mitchell

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