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  • Scotland issues new framework to help tackle the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

    Scotland issues new framework to help tackle the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

    Friday, 20 July 2018 14:56
  • MHRA issues reminder to use Yellow Card reporting for suspected ADRs associated with pregnancy

    MHRA issues reminder to use Yellow Card reporting for suspected ADRs associated with pregnancy

    Thursday, 19 July 2018 10:40
  • Welsh AMs call for greater awareness of GP Palliative Care Registers

    Welsh AMs call for greater awareness of GP Palliative Care Registers

    Wednesday, 18 July 2018 17:52
  • BLF highlights decline in stop smoking prescriptions

    BLF highlights decline in stop smoking prescriptions

    Wednesday, 18 July 2018 17:48
  • NICE says to restrict antibiotics in COPD

    NICE says to restrict antibiotics in COPD

    Friday, 13 July 2018 13:05

A Resized Hep C Image cbAugust 1 2017

A campaign to encourage more hepatitis C testing has been launched to help eliminate the virus as a hidden public health threat.

Public Health England wants more people to take up the offer of free hepatitis C testing, whether or not they have symptoms. A poster campaign is inviting people to take a quick 6-item quiz to find out whether they might have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus; if so they advised to seek testing.

“Around 200,000 people in the UK are thought to be living with chronic hepatitis C (hep C) infection, with a substantial proportion unaware they have it. Many will be over the age of 50 and may have no or few specific symptoms,” said PHE. Being aware of hep C status means treatment can be started sooner, and the greater the chance of avoiding long term complications.

People should have a hep C test if they:

  • received a blood transfusion before September 1991, or a blood product before 1986 in the UK;
  • shared needles or other equipment to inject drugs, even if it was just once or many years ago;
  • had medical or dental treatment abroad in unsterile conditions;
  • had a tattoo, piercing, acupuncture, electrolysis, or semi-permanent make up using equipment that may have been unsterilized;
  • had unprotected sex with someone who has, or might have, hep C;
  • shared a razor or toothbrush with someone who has, or might have, hep C.

Dr Helen Harris, Clinical Scientist in PHE’s Immunisation, Hepatitis and Blood Safety Department, said: “We are hopeful that the increased access to improved treatments over recent years has contributed to the latest fall in deaths from severe hep C related liver disease. This, combined with interventions to prevent infection in the first place, can help us to achieve our vision of eliminating hep C as a major public health threat in the UK.”

PHE made the announcement alongside publishing its annual report ‘Hepatitis C in the UK 2017’ on July 28, World Hepatitis Day.

Links:
PHE announcement  
Hepatitis C – Quiz: ‘Could you have hepatitis C?’ 
PHE: Hepatitis C in England 2017                
PHE Vaccine Update July 2017   

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