Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/6/2013 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New drug could wipe out silent killer responsible for majority of liver transplants

Hepatitis C, a silent, deadly illness that kills more Americans annually than AIDS, is the leading condition behind liver transplants. There is reason to hope with the introduction of a new medication that has had remarkable success in clinical trials. "There is no doubt we are on the verge of wiping out hepatitis C," Dr. Mitchell L. Shiffman says, the director of the Bon Secours Liver Institute of Virginia.

While it can be transmitted sexually, hepatitis C is transmitted chiefly through shared needles.

While it can be transmitted sexually, hepatitis C is transmitted chiefly through shared needles.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/6/2013 (5 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Hepatitis C, infection, new drugs, HIV, needles


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the course of the next three years, new drugs are expected to come to be made available that will cure most patients with the virus. In some cases, one pill a day will all that it will take . and with only minimal side effects.

Current treatments for Hepatitis C cure about 70 percent of newly treated patients - but require six to 12 months of injections that can bring debilitating side effects.

The new drugs are expected to cost from $60,000 to more than $100,000 for a course of treatment. For the uninsured or those in developing countries, access to these drugs may prove to be difficult.

Many of those afflicted find themselves in a "Catch 22:" Even when discounts or generic drugs are offered to poor countries, there are no international agencies or charities that buy hepatitis C medications, as there are for H.I.V. and malaria drugs.

Some express concern that the bill will be run up when large numbers of people who have maintained without the new drugs will suddenly turn to them. Many people infected with hepatitis C never suffer serious liver problems.

"The vast majority of patients who are infected with this virus never have any trouble," Dr. Ronald Koretz, emeritus professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles says.

Currently it's not possible to tell in advance whether an infected individual will go on to suffer serious consequences. For patients who can afford the new drugs, the temptation to take them before trouble arises will be powerful.

An estimated three to four million Americans are infected with hepatitis C. About 150 million, which are three to five times the number who have H.I.V. Have hepatitis C worldwide. Most people who are infected do not know it, because it can take decades for the virus to damage the liver sufficiently to cause symptoms.

The number of new infections in the United States has fallen to about 17,000 a year, from more than 200,000 per year in the 1980s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There has been a recent rise in cases among young people who inject pain medicines or heroin.

About 16,600 Americans had hepatitis C listed as a cause of death on death certificates in 2010, but this may only represent a small fraction. According to the Centers for Disease Control, while there are fewer new infections, the number of deaths is expected to keep rising as the infections incurred years ago increasingly take their toll.

Hepatitis C is spread chiefly through the sharing of needles, although it can also be acquired during sex. The virus was transmitted through blood transfusions before testing of donated blood began in 1992.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Health

Death lurks about the cutting board: Kitchens could be sources of drug-resistant bacteria, experts warn Watch

Image of Ironically, the cutting board -- and NOT the knife, represents the greatest threat to health and safety, experts say.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There's a killer lurking undetected in many ordinary kitchens, experts warn. Cutting boards used to prepare raw poultry may be an important source of drug-resistant bacteria in both hospital kitchens and private homes, a new study warns. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Uh-oh! One in every 20 adults seeking medical care walks away misdiagnosed Watch

Image of In little more than five percent of cases, the original diagnosis was wrong and could have been accurately detected by the information available in the first setting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're diligent and go to your doctor regularly - you still may not be getting a clean bill of health. According to a new study, one in 20 Americans who see their doctor may walk away having their condition misdiagnosed. Twelve million Americans a year could ... continue reading


Analysis: Millions wasted on shoddy flu drug, Tamiflu Watch

Image of The analysis, from the Cochrane Collaboration claims Tamiflu did not prevent the spread of flu or reduce dangerous complications.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an especially harsh analysis for a drug that many people keep in their bathroom mirror for a sudden outbreak of the sniffles. A new analysis says that many millions may have been wasted on Tamiflu, a common drug used to treat flu symptoms. According to the ... continue reading


Deadly H5N1 bird flu virus could easily mutate to spread from human to human Watch

Image of When the healthy ferret developed flu symptoms, such as ruffled fur, loss of appetite and lack of energy - researchers knew the virus had spread through the air.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The avian flu, or H5N1 virus was so deadly scientists once halted research as governments feared it might be used by terrorists to stage a biological attack. The dreaded H5N1 avian influenza has since killed 60 percent of the 650 humans known to be infected ... continue reading


Scottish scientists successfully regenerate organ in mouse - could humans be next? Watch

Image of After the regeneration, the treated mice also started to make more T-cells, which is a type of white blood cell key to fighting infections.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A breakthrough which may pave the way for the technique to be used in humans has been uncovered by Scottish scientists. Researchers have been able to fully restore an organ in a living animal for the first time.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The team ... continue reading


New drug used to treat breast cancer heralded as 'quite groundbreaking' Watch

Image of While Pfizer remains in the lead to bring this new class of drugs to market, Novartis has begun late-stage testing of its own CDK 4/6 inhibitor.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An important treatment option in the fight against breast cancer may be waiting in the wings. Researchers say a new type of drug could help prevent advanced breast cancer from worsening. The potential is great for breast cancer patients, and makes for a ... continue reading


Delicious Earl Grey tea found to have hidden health benefit Watch

Image of Bergamot is a Mediterranean citrus fruit which gives Earl Grey its distinct taste and smell. It has enjoyed popularity among the upper and middle classes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many drink it for its taste and the enjoyment it brings, without thought of it being "good for them." Scientists now say that Earl Grey tea can lower cholesterol and reduce the chances of heart disease. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A popular beverage ... continue reading


Deaf since birth, woman hears - for the first time Watch

Image of Deaf since birth, 40-year-old Joanne Milne received cochlear implants - and is now learning to hear the world for the very first time. Electronic implants were switched on, and Milne burst into tears when the sound of a nurse reciting the days of the week gave her the first sensation of sound.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Deaf since birth, 40-year-old Joanne Milne received cochlear implants - and is now learning to hear the world for the very first time. Electronic implants were switched on, and Milne burst into tears when the sound of a nurse reciting the days of the week gave ... continue reading


Two people in United Kingdom contract tuberculosis - from their cats Watch

Image of Public Health England believed the risk of transmission from cats to humans was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tuberculosis has roared back into the public consciousness with the spread of a new drug-resistant strain. There are reports from the United Kingdom, now of two people there - who contracted the deadly airborne from their cats. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


New procedure may replace intrusive method for diagnosis of bowel issues Watch

Image of If one is accused of putting on airs, some people suggest that yours doesn't stink.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If one is accused of putting on airs, some people suggest that yours doesn't stink. In more serious news - the smell of feces may now diagnose certain bowel conditions without the usual intrusive methods used to diagnose various intestinal issues. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter