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A Disease, Without Warning: Hepatitis C Often Shows No Symptoms before Striking - The Burg

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6/11/2013
About 3.2 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C. Eighty percent of infected patients go on to develop chronic liver disease. Consequently, hepatitis C is one of the leading causes of liver failure, and about 15,000 Americans die each year of consequences of the virus. In fact, more Americans now die of hepatitis C than of HIV.
 
The most common risk factors for hepatitis C are a blood transfusion before screening of the blood supply began (in June 1992) and intravenous drug use. Before screening, blood transfusions were a common mode of transmission of the hepatitis C virus, and as many as 250,000 transfusion-associated infections occurred each year. Since screening of the blood supply began, transfusion-associated hepatitis C has been virtually eliminated. It is estimated that less than one out of every 1 million units is contaminated, and there have been no documented cases of hepatitis C transmission via the blood supply in more than 10 years.

Continue reading a blog by Dr. John Goldman...