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Hepatitis C
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Second Opinion 5

Hepatitis C panelists

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Resource Description: 
The Bonnie Morgan Foundation for HCV in Longmont, Colorado, helps people learn about hepatitis C so they know the symptoms, causes, and treatments available to them.
CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
Episode number: 
1101
Transcript: 
Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a worldwide health problem, and in the U.S. alone, an estimated 3.2 million people are living with chronic Hepatitis C infection. Our patient Kimberly Bossley watched her mother die of Hepatitis C, the very same disease she has, and is in the fight of her life against.

What is Hepatitis C?

(Source: CDC) Hepatitis C is a liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.

Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, Hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants.

Hepatitis C can be either “acute” or “chronic.” Acute Hepatitis C virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the Hepatitis C virus. For most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection. Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, or even death.

Prevention and treatment of Hepatitis C

There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injection drug use.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/c/

New drug regimens that have a high efficacy rate have become available, making Hepatitis C curable. These new drugs are tolerated well by most patients, and have drastically changed the course of the disease for countless people. However, the cost of the drug is very expensive, making its use prohibitive to many prohibitive, and this issue has caused a great ethical debate.

 

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