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Hepatitis C

TLBentley tlbentley at aol.com
Sat Jan 21 10:34:57 EST 1995

Hepatitis C is difficult to diagnose.  The tests that currently exist can
have both false positives and false negatives.  When a test called a RIBA
is done along with  a liver biopsy, physicians can get a clearer picture
of what stage of HCV a patient has.  Some studies show no sexual
transmission, some show sexual transmission.  Primary route of
transmission for HCV is via blood: transfusions (before screening tests
available to blood banks ) and IV drug use are the most common routes now
reported.  Unlike Hepatitis A or B or even D, less is known about HCV. 
The incubation period is 2-52 weeks.  The wide variation makes it
difficult to pin point when someone was exposed.  I am a
nurse-epidemiologist who has done many interviews with patients positive
for the HCV antibody who appear to have no present symptoms.  Other
patients may have some symptoms and no risk within the 52 week extreme on
the incubation, after discussion, most of those patients then reveal
significant blood contact years ago.  Much remains to be learned about
HCV.  The American Liver Foundation in NYC may be able to give you more
information.  To find their address give your local library a call and ask
for the reference desk.  Hope this helps.

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