Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hepatitis C a 'giant' that sleeps no longer

From the National Post:
The "sleeping giant" of hepatitis C in Canada has clearly awoken, concludes a new Alberta study that found the incidence of severe illness triggered by the liver virus -- and the resulting burden on the health care system -- has grown explosively.

The number of hospitalizations for serious complications of the virus, the number of deaths while in hospital and the lengths of hospital stays jumped 400% between 1994 and 2004, the Calgary-area research found.

The results outstripped earlier projections that foresaw caseloads doubling over a similar time span.

One expert says the dramatic findings should be a wake-up call for governments that spent more than $2-billion compensating the small percentage of patients who got hep C from tainted blood but have largely neglected actual medical treatment. ...more

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