Viral Hepatitis C (HCV) is a devastating disease. It is the number one cause of liver cancer and often leads to the need for a liver transplant.
A national survey found that 1.8 percent of Americans – about 3.9 million – have been infected with HCV, and most – about 3.2 million – are chronically infected, with many showing no signs or symptoms. As many as ¬ 80 percent of HCV infections reported each year are chronic, and some 20 percent of chronic infections progress to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) over 20 to 30 years.
The FDA has just approved a RealTime PCR test from Abbott to measure the viral load of Hepatitis in the body. That is tremendous scientific news because now we have a low level way of discovering, and then treating, Hepatitis on a molecular level. Here’s how: