Hepatitis C and Senior Citizens  

What happens when the Hepatitis C virus is found in someone who is a senior citizen? First of all its not always easy to diagnose Hepatitis C virus, HCV, because so many of the symptoms, aches and pains in the joints, skin problems, stomach discomforts and memory issues, are what many expect to suffer as they age. But, in truth, if you are a senior you shouldn't expect to feel ill all the time and if you do you should go see your health care provider.

There are some things you should do if you've been diagnosed. First ask for a second test to reconfirm the results. This is just common sense and your doctor won't object. If they do, find another. It's a good idea to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B.  Ask to be sent to a specialist who can deal better with your new set of circumstances. This specialist should be prepared to do an alpha-fetoprotein test. This checks for cancer. As well, you should have a liver biopsy to see if there are signs of cirrhosis. 

 You should be cautious in some things that you do to do your best not to be contagious to anyone. This includes not sharing a toothbrush, razor or nail clippers. Avoid risky contact such as allowing your blood to touch someone else's open cut. You can hug, cuddle and kiss your children and grandchildren, but avoid kissing them on the mouth. There is no reason to refrain from continuing the normal healthy sexual relationship you have with your long-term partner.

After you clean your teeth, wash the sink. Using a water and bleach solution, clean and wipe out the sink after each time you clean your teeth. If you cut yourself and there is blood on the counter or floor, be certain that only you clean it up once you've tended to the cut. Throw all paper towels or wipes in a plastic bag and then into the garbage.

The biggest question asked by anyone, let alone someone in their retirement years, is will they die from the Hepatitis c virus?  The answer is only maybe. Studies have shown that most people who become infected after they have passed through middle age usually die from other causes or from old age before the HCV gets them. That is because HCV often stays in a person's system for years, lying dormant, before any of the damage begins.  Cirrhosis of the liver will occur in approximately thirty percent of all HCV sufferers. This in itself can take thirty years to become a health issue.  A percentage of those with cirrhosis of the liver will get liver cancer. But again, this does not develop quickly.

Your doctor may want to discuss with you whether treatment is a good idea or not.  The most commonly used medication for HCV is interferon. This drug has not proven good when used for older patients. It is more common not to treat those over sixty.

Hepatitis news on the Web

Liver specialists in Nevada are seeing an increase in patients since health officials in February announced an outbreak of hepatitis C cases linked to an endoscopy clinic.

Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the Chinese hepatitis C virus drug market, dominated by conventional and pegylated interferons, will more than double by 2012 from $64 million in 2007 to $150 million in 2012.

Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- BioMerieux , the French maker of tests to diagnose infections such as HIV and hepatitis, said first-half profit rose 5.8 percent as higher sales in Latin America helped make up for a slowdown in the U.S.

Blood from donors and patients in Jersey is to be screened for HIV and Hepatitis C

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Roche COBAS(R) TaqMan(R) HBV Test, the first assay for quantitating Hepatitis B Virus DNA approved in the U.S. The test uses Roche's real-time PCR technology to quantify the amount of Hepatitis B virus DNA in a patient's blood.

Intercell AG (ICLL) announced the six months follow up data of its exploratory clinical phase-II study targeting treatment-naïve Hepatitis C genotype-1 patients.

A hepatitis E epidemic has killed 121 people in northern Uganda, where it erupted in October last year, a health ministry official said Thursday.

Pharmasset, Inc. announces the preliminary results of the fourth cohort of a 4-week Phase 1 proof-of-concept clinical trial evaluating R7128 1500mg twice daily in combination with the standard of care , Pegasys® plus Copegus® in 20 patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 2 or 3 who had not achieved a Sustained Viral Response with prior SOC therapy.

Roche has announced that the FDA has approved its Cobas TaqMan HBV test, the first assay for quantitating hepatitis B virus DNA approved in the US.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first nucleic acid test for hepatitis B virus (HBV) that measures the amount of viral DNA (viral load) in a patient's blood. Assessing a patient's viral load provides health care professionals with a highly sensitive method for gauging the progress of antiviral therapy in patients with chronic HBV infections.