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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.
Processed foods may increase likelihood of developing autoimmune diseases

Processed foods may increase likelihood of developing autoimmune diseases

In today's hustle and bustle world, processed foods are commonplace time-savers. But that convenience factor may come with a bigger price tag than previously known, says an international team of researchers. [More]
Hepatitis C virus linked to increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease

Hepatitis C virus linked to increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease

The hepatitis C virus may be associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the December 23, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [More]
Roche announces availability of cobas HBVassay for use on cobas 4800 System

Roche announces availability of cobas HBVassay for use on cobas 4800 System

Roche announced today the commercial availability of the cobas HBVassay for use on the cobas 4800 System in countries accepting the CE mark. This new molecular diagnostic assay expands the available virology menu on the cobas 4800 System, improving system efficiency and providing testing flexibility that allows physicians to assess a patient's response to antiviral therapy. [More]
SciClone plans to pursue development of SGX942 in the Greater China market

SciClone plans to pursue development of SGX942 in the Greater China market

SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced plans to pursue development and registration of SGX942 in the Greater China market, for the treatment of oral mucositis. [More]
MPP signs licensing agreement with AbbVie to address future demands for HIV treatment in Africa

MPP signs licensing agreement with AbbVie to address future demands for HIV treatment in Africa

The Medicines Patent Pool today announced a new licensing agreement with AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, that seeks to address future demands for HIV treatment Lopinavir/Ritonavir (LPV/r) in South Africa and across Africa. The agreement has been reached in particular to help ensure sustainability of long-term supply of LPV/r, the most widely used second-line HIV treatment in South Africa and across Africa. [More]
Findings show promising evidence for creating broad-spectrum antiviral

Findings show promising evidence for creating broad-spectrum antiviral

UW researchers working in collaboration with Kineta Inc. and the University of Texas at Galveston have shown that making a drug-like molecule to turn on innate immunity can induce genes to control infection in several -known viruses. [More]
New paper outlines strategies to address hepatitis C in incarcerated individuals

New paper outlines strategies to address hepatitis C in incarcerated individuals

More than one in nine people with hepatitis C in Canada spend time in a correctional facility each year and researchers said this presents a unique opportunity to focus hepatitis C prevention and control efforts in incarcerated populations. [More]
RBHS Chancellor leads study to eliminate chronic viral hepatitis

RBHS Chancellor leads study to eliminate chronic viral hepatitis

Chronic viral hepatitis has a reputation for being a silent killer. The infection often goes undetected until the symptoms of advanced liver cancer appear. By that point, a patient has a five-year survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society. [More]
AGA issues six new clinical practice guidelines

AGA issues six new clinical practice guidelines

In 2015, the American Gastroenterological Association issued six clinical practice guidelines, all published in AGA's official journal Gastroenterology, offering current, evidence-based point-of-care recommendations to guide physicians at the bedside. [More]
Prophylaxis treatment can protect children who receive liver transplants from HBV-infected donors

Prophylaxis treatment can protect children who receive liver transplants from HBV-infected donors

Researchers have found that a prophylaxis treatment can prevent new-onset hepatitis B in children who receive liver transplants from donors who were previously infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) but had successfully cleared the virus. [More]
TaiGen releases Taigexyn (nemonoxacin) capsules in Taiwan

TaiGen releases Taigexyn (nemonoxacin) capsules in Taiwan

TaiGen Biotechnology Company, Limited today announced that together with its distribution partner, Holding Distribution, it has launched Taigexyn (nemonoxacin) capsules in Taiwan, the first market where Taigexyn is available. [More]
SLU scientist awarded new $2.2 million NIH grant to develop cure for hepatitis B

SLU scientist awarded new $2.2 million NIH grant to develop cure for hepatitis B

With proof-of-principle in his pocket and a new $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, SLU scientist John Tavis, Ph.D., will take his 25 year mission to finally develop a cure for the hepatitis B virus into the next phase. [More]
Access to harm reduction programs vey low in rural and suburban areas affected by HIV infections

Access to harm reduction programs vey low in rural and suburban areas affected by HIV infections

Access to harm reduction programs such as syringe exchange is lowest in rural and suburban areas, where rates of addiction to heroin and other opioids are on the rise, according to a study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published online today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. [More]
New therapeutic target can prevent abnormal blood vessel growth that causes gastrointestinal bleeding

New therapeutic target can prevent abnormal blood vessel growth that causes gastrointestinal bleeding

A study by IRB Barcelona and IDIBAPS reveals a therapeutic target to prevent the development of the many abnormal blood vessels that cause gastrointestinal bleeding—the main complication in cirrhosis. [More]
Abbott, UCSF identify human pegivirus 2 among some patients with hepatitis C

Abbott, UCSF identify human pegivirus 2 among some patients with hepatitis C

Abbott and University of California San Francisco published research identifying a newly discovered human virus, known as human pegivirus 2 (HPgV-2), and proving it is found among some patients with hepatitis C (HCV). [More]
WHO launches new comprehensive analysis of global health trends

WHO launches new comprehensive analysis of global health trends

The World Health Organization (WHO) today launched a new comprehensive analysis of global health trends since 2000 and an assessment of the challenges for the next 15 years. [More]
Recommendations for caring for Syrian refugees' health care needs

Recommendations for caring for Syrian refugees' health care needs

What unique health needs will Syrian refugees face, and how can Canadian physicians best provide health care to them and their families? A practice article posted online today in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) provides recommendations on screening and advice for primary care physicians to deal with this specific population's health care needs. [More]
RTFCCR grant supports ASCOLT study that evaluates effectiveness of Aspirin in colorectal cancer patients

RTFCCR grant supports ASCOLT study that evaluates effectiveness of Aspirin in colorectal cancer patients

Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research, an international private foundation based in Switzerland, has awarded a US $800,000 grant to be released over two years for the ASCOLT study conducted by Dr John Chia, Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore. [More]
Quest Diagnostics performs RNA testing on patient specimens to detect more cases of HCV

Quest Diagnostics performs RNA testing on patient specimens to detect more cases of HCV

In its commitment to provide diagnostic insights that enhance patient care and outcomes, Quest Diagnostics will automatically perform molecular testing on all patient specimens whose antibody screening results indicate hepatitis C virus infection, and remove standalone positive antibody screening as a test option. [More]

World Hepatitis Alliance highlights need to recognise impact of coinfection between HIV and viral hepatitis

Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of non-AIDS-related deaths among people living with HIV, yet often goes undiagnosed. Similar to HIV, the hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses are blood-borne, having similar transmission routes like sexual contact for hepatitis B and injection drug use and sexual contact for hepatitis C. [More]
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