Newly formed initiative to eliminate Hepatitis C by 2030
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A newly formed initiative is working toward an initial step to reduce new infections of hepatitis C by 80 percent and deaths by 65 percent over the next 12 years.
Health officials said over the next 12 months, the steering and other committees of the Eliminate Hepatitis C San Diego County Initiative will develop recommendations on how to end hepatitis C in the region and present its plan to the County Board of Supervisors at the end of 2019.
Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus, different than the viruses that cause hepatitis A and B. The virus, for which there is no vaccine, often goes unnoticed since most people who contract it will not show symptoms until they develop long-term complications. Acute hepatitis C typically occurs within six months of exposure and symptoms include fever, fatigue, dark urine, nausea, vomiting and jaundice.
Last year, 3,112 new cases of hepatitis C cases were reported in San Diego County. Hepatitis C is listed as an underlying cause of death annually in 70 to 100 deaths in the region, according to San Diego health officials.
Christian B. Ramers, M.D., M.P.H., infectious diseases specialist & asst. medical director of Family Health Centers of SD who co-chairs the Elimination steering committee along with Sayone Thihalolipavan, MD – Deputy Public Health Officer for the County of San Diego HHSA, who co-chairs the Elimination steering committee discussed how the initiative will work.
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