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Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects the liver, where it causes significant inflammation, damage and disruption of normal liver function. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, around 3 to 4 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C every year.

The hepatitis C virus is usually transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected individual and, most commonly, people catch it through sharing contaminated needles when injecting illegal drugs.

Hepatitis C infection is categorized into an acute and a chronic stage. The acute phase describes the first 6 months of infection when there are not necessarily any symptoms. Around one quarter of people manage to clear the infection during this stage before disease progresses to the chronic stage.

People who go on to develop chronic hepatitis C may develop jaundice which turns the skin and whites of the eyes yellow. This is caused by the build-up of a yellow-colored substance in the blood called bilirubin that would usually be broken down by the liver if it was healthy. Chronic infection may eventually cause fibrosis and scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, liver cancer or end stage liver failure.

Hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral medications that that are designed to disrupt the multiplication of virus particles inside the body and prevent liver damage.
Type 2 diabetes linked to long list of complications that can affect health and quality of life

Type 2 diabetes linked to long list of complications that can affect health and quality of life

T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals living with type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes. [More]
ECDC: 1 in 7 HIV-infected people in the EU/EEA unaware of disease status

ECDC: 1 in 7 HIV-infected people in the EU/EEA unaware of disease status

With 29 747 newly reported HIV infections in 2015, the EU/EEA notification rate is similar to recent years with an overall insignificant change from 6.6 per 100 000 population in 2006 to 6.3 in 2015 (adjusted for reporting delay). [More]
Research provides insight into molecular mechanisms involved in immune response to HBV

Research provides insight into molecular mechanisms involved in immune response to HBV

The innate immune system in mammals defends against infection from viruses and other microbial infections. [More]
New public-private partnership launches major health effort to reduce cancer in San Francisco

New public-private partnership launches major health effort to reduce cancer in San Francisco

Cancer is the leading cause of death in San Francisco and costs patients, families and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. [More]
Molecules team up to maintain healthy level of fat in liver, study finds

Molecules team up to maintain healthy level of fat in liver, study finds

As obesity rates rise in the United States, so does the incidence of liver diseases. [More]
Study finds way to increase liver cancer screening rates among at-risk cirrhosis patients

Study finds way to increase liver cancer screening rates among at-risk cirrhosis patients

Proactive outreach to cirrhosis patients in a safety net health system successfully doubled their screening rates for liver cancer, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers found. [More]
Hepatitis C virus sabotages antiviral defenses of liver cells by blunting effect of immune proteins

Hepatitis C virus sabotages antiviral defenses of liver cells by blunting effect of immune proteins

The virus that causes hepatitis C protects itself by blocking signals that call up immune defenses in liver cells, according to University of Washington researchers and colleagues reporting Nov. 14 in Nature Medicine. [More]
Psoriatic arthritis patients experience multiple symptoms that can make diagnosis difficult, survey reveals

Psoriatic arthritis patients experience multiple symptoms that can make diagnosis difficult, survey reveals

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory condition closely related to and most often co-occurring with psoriasis. [More]
Suppressed vaginal immune response makes women more susceptible to RNA viruses

Suppressed vaginal immune response makes women more susceptible to RNA viruses

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes discovered that the vaginal immune system is suppressed in response to RNA viruses, such as Zika. [More]
Eminent physician Kenneth Walker receives Georgia Hospital Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award

Eminent physician Kenneth Walker receives Georgia Hospital Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award

Grady Health System Assistant Chief of Internal Medicine and Emory University School of Medicine Professor H. Kenneth Walker, M.D., was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Georgia Hospital Association's (GHA) Annual Meeting on Nov. 11. [More]
HCV patients treated with DAA therapy not at increased risk of developing liver cancer, study finds

HCV patients treated with DAA therapy not at increased risk of developing liver cancer, study finds

A new study presented this week at The Liver Meeting — held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases — found patients with hepatitis C who take direct-acting antiviral medication are at no higher risk for developing liver cancer than those who do not take the medication. [More]
Particular eating behaviors linked to lower odds of developing liver diseases

Particular eating behaviors linked to lower odds of developing liver diseases

Particular eating behaviors may lower the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to research presented this week at The Liver Meeting — held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. [More]
New technology uses USB stick to monitor HIV in bloodstream

New technology uses USB stick to monitor HIV in bloodstream

The device, created by scientists at Imperial College London and DNA Electronics, uses a drop of blood to detect HIV, and then creates an electrical signal that can be read by a computer, laptop or handheld device. [More]
TSRI researchers uncover mechanism behind T cell exhaustion

TSRI researchers uncover mechanism behind T cell exhaustion

In a new study with broad implications for treating cancers and chronic viral infections, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have uncovered a mechanism behind a phenomenon called “T cell exhaustion.” [More]
Two genes linked to increase in immunity to hepatitis C after childbirth, study shows

Two genes linked to increase in immunity to hepatitis C after childbirth, study shows

Alternative forms of two genes are associated with a boost in immunity to hepatitis C after childbirth, a study led by a Nationwide Children's Hospital physician-researcher shows. [More]

Over 1 million people treated with revolutionary hepatitis C medicines

Over one million people in low- and middle-income countries have been treated with a revolutionary new cure for hepatitis C since its introduction two years ago. [More]
Poor, remote Indigenous Australians have increased risk of sexually transmissible infections

Poor, remote Indigenous Australians have increased risk of sexually transmissible infections

A unique 21-year study of more than 2.4 million cases of infectious disease across Australia reveals a major social divide where being poorer, living remotely or being an Indigenous Australian means having an increased risk of sexually transmissible infections (STIs). [More]
GAFFI: Access to rapid diagnostics, antifungals could prevent over a million AIDS-related deaths by 2020

GAFFI: Access to rapid diagnostics, antifungals could prevent over a million AIDS-related deaths by 2020

Fungal infection causes around half of AIDS-related deaths, of which there were 1,100,000 in 2015. A first of its kind analysis – ‘Modelling reduction in AIDS deaths’ by the University of Manchester’s Professor David W Denning and published today in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B – suggests that the opportunity to save lives is being missed. [More]
TSRI scientists discover reason for lack of successful HCV vaccine design

TSRI scientists discover reason for lack of successful HCV vaccine design

Researchers have been trying for decades to develop a vaccine against the globally endemic hepatitis C virus (HCV). Now scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered one reason why success has so far been elusive. [More]
Scientists discover new mechanism for inadequate immune defense against chronic viral infection

Scientists discover new mechanism for inadequate immune defense against chronic viral infection

Scientists at the University of Basel discovered a fundamental new mechanism explaining the inadequate immune defense against chronic viral infection. These results may open up new avenues for vaccine development. They have been published in the journal "Science Immunology". [More]
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