Hepatitis C – affecting an estimated 47,000 Miami-Dade residents, but a cure is available for some
Infectious viral hepatitis A, B, and C are important health problems in Miami-Dade County affecting an estimated 47,000 residents.
A potentially deadly disease is seeing an alarming increase of cases being reported in South Florida.
In fact, cases of hepatitis C have gone up more than 50-percent in Broward County in the past two years alone.
There are many forms of the hepatitis C virus. The most common in the U.S. is type 1. None is more serious than any other, but they respond differently to treatment.
What Are the Symptoms?
Many people with Hepatitis have no symptoms. But you could notice these:
- Jaundice (a condition that causes yellow eyes and skin, as well as dark urine)
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
How Do You Get It?
The virus spreads through the blood or body fluids of an infected person.
You can catch it from:
Hepatitis C isn’t spread through food, water, or by casual contact.
Who Gets It?
The CDC recommends you get tested for the disease if you:
- Received blood from a donor who had the disease.
- Have ever injected drugs.
- Had a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before July 1992.
- Received a blood product used to treat clotting problems before 1987.
- Were born between 1945 and 1965.
- Have been on long-term kidney dialysis.
- Have HIV.
- Were born to a mother with hepatitis C.
How Is It Diagnosed?
You can get a blood test to see if you have the hepatitis C virus.
How Is It Treated?
Hepatitis C treatments have changed a lot in recent years. In January 2016, the FDA gave approval to a once-daily pill combination of elbasvir and grazoprevir called Zepatier. It has been shown to have the ability to cure the disease in almost 100% of those treated. It follows the success of another once-daily treatment called Harvoni that cures the disease in most people in 8-12 weeks. Harvoni combines two drugs: sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and ledipasvir. In clinical trials, the most common side effects in both drugs were fatigue and headache.
Miami-Dade and Surrounding areas- Call 305-557-0000 or fill out the form below to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jose Prieto for testing, treatment, question or concerns about the Hepatitis Disease.