Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common chronic blood-borne disease and the leading cause of liver transplantation in the U.S., affecting an estimated 3.2 million Americans. Recent advancement in antiviral treatment options has significantly increased the response rates to anti-HCV therapy even among the difficult to treat populations.
Despite this, it is estimated that only 34–48% of chronic carriers are referred for liver specialist assessment, and less than 37% of patients receive treatment for hepatitis C.
Uninsured and under-insured patient populations with limited access to care are especially at risk. The virus can stay dormant for years, and transpire… Continue reading
New quantitative viral load assays for hepatitis C virus (HCV) with enhanced sensitivity are now available via LabFlorida.
The new test provides a lower limit of quantification (LLoQ) of 15 IU/mL and a lower limit of detection (LLoD) of 15 IU/mL.
Any result between 1 and 15 IU/mL will be reported as “detectable” but no value will be given. A “detectable” result (whether quantifiable or not) should be interpreted as evidence of continued presence of HCV RNA. This v2.0 assay enables more accurate assessments of response to antiviral therapy. Regular use of viral load assays for monitoring of patients is… Continue reading
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV), and its symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and yellowing of eyes. The infection usually goes away on its own without treatment and does not cause long-term (chronic) illness; very rarely, hepatitis A can cause life-threatening liver failure.
Hepatitis A spreads when people eat food or drink water that is contaminated by stool (feces) that has the virus in it. In rare cases the virus is spread by contact with infected blood or blood products.
You can be infected with HAV only once. After that, you have… Continue reading
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer or life-threatening esophageal, gastric varices, upper gastrointestinal hemorrhages and other problems.
HCV is spread primarily by blood-to-blood contact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment and transfusions. About 150–200 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C.
The virus persists in the liver in about 85% of those infected. Most people don’t have symptoms, and it’s common to have hepatitis C for 15 years… Continue reading
Just like hepatitis C hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. Most adults who get hepatitis B have it for a short time and then get better. This is called acute hepatitis B.
Just like with C you can have hepatitis B and not know about it. You may have no symptoms. If you do, they may feel like you have a flu. The problem is: you can spread it to others, and those others may have a worse problem with it than you do.
Chronic hepatitis B can damage your liver. Babies and young children infected with… Continue reading