The Hepatitis C Threat
Health experts say ignorance can kill
Hepatitis C is a potentially deadly disease that often goes
untreated for too long because it has few initial symptoms.
And there's a stigma attached to some of the behaviors that
can trigger it -- particularly illegal drug use.
officials are warning those at risk that ignorance in this
case can kill.
there's encouraging news. New therapies may make the disease
more manageable, according to an article from the
tricky part for health-care providers is convincing those at
risk that they should be tested and treated. If left
untreated, the disease can cause liver failure. Initially,
however, it can produce no symptoms, or just some fatigue.
current treatment is grueling and not always successful. It
involves three injections a week of the drug interferon. Some
patients also receive an oral medication called ribavirin.
This can cause extreme fatigue, pain, loss of appetite,
irritability, depression and severe flu-like symptoms, the
doctors are investigating a new kind of interferon -- called
pegylated interferon -- that might have to be administered
only once a week.
C is often transmitted by sharing needles. Some people get it
through blood transfusions. For more information, you can read
this fact sheet from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
Copyright © 2001 Rx Remedy, Inc.