Welcome to HCV Advocate’s hepatitis blog. The intent of this blog is to keep our website audience up-to-date on information about hepatitis and to answer some of our web site and training audience questions. People are encouraged to submit questions and post comments.

For more information on how to use this blog
click here, the HCV drug pipeline click here, and for more information on HCV clinical trials click here

Be sure to check out our other blogs: The HBV Advocate Blog and Hepatitis & Tattoos.

Alan Franciscus
HCV Advocate
HBV Advocate

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

From the duh files: should food workers be vaccinated against Hepatitis A?

JoNel Aleccia of NBC News writes the question of whether hepatitis A inoculations should be mandatory for food workers — or whether the cost to business isn’t worth the wider benefit — is gaining renewed attention from federal regulators, health officials and ordinary consumers amid a spate of new restaurant warnings.

As many as 17,000 people a year are sickened by hepatitis A, according to 2010 estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and about 95 people die. That’s only a fraction of the 48 million people in the U.S. who are sickened by food poisoning each year, but hepatitis A is the only foodborne bug for which an effective vaccine actually exists.
The hepatitis A virus causes acute liver infection that can trigger lingering illness and even liver failure or death, though that’s rare. It’s spread when a person ingests fecal material from an infected person and causes symptoms that include, fever, chills, nausea, dark-colored urine and jaundice, a yellowing of the skin or eyes.


Hepatitis C victim in dental scare writes of fears

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A Tulsa-area man whose hepatitis C diagnosis led Oklahoma to close two dental clinics and suggest AIDS testing for 7,000 patients last year says his illness has left him depressed, embarrassed and worried about his future.

The patient — identified as "G. Rains" in court records — has sued Dr. W. Scott Harrington, claiming the dentist deliberately used rusty instruments and re-used contaminated drug vials that led to Rains' infection. According to health officials and court records, Rains is the first confirmed patient in the U.S. to contract hepatitis C from another patient in a dental office. Health officials shut down Harrington's practices last year, and the investigation into the clinics continues.

Rains declined an in-person interview with The Associated Press but agreed to answer questions submitted through his lawyer, Mark Lyons.

Read more....

Medical Spotlight: Hepatitis Awareness Month

Dr. David Nelson is a liver doctor and researcher at the University of Florida who specializes in Hepatitis C.

Dr. Nelson's research on Hepatitis C was recently honored as a Top 10 Achievement by the National Clinical Research Forum.

Dr. Nelson stopped by our studio today to discuss recent treatment advances and screening recommendations for Hepatitis C.

Watch the interview here...

Australia: Hepatitis C class action forced to trial after settlement fails

THE settlement of a lawsuit involving 50 women infected with hepatitis C at a Melbourne day surgery clinic has been derailed, as one woman holds out for her own trial.

The women are suing Croydon Hospital Pty Ltd after being infected by drug-addicted anaesthetist James Latham Peters.

Lawyers for the hospital had offered to settle both cases, but on the condition that the individual's case be rolled into the class action.

Andrew Ingram, representing the lone litigant, told the Victorian Supreme Court that his client did not want to be part of the group.

Justice David Beach said he did not believe he had the power to force the woman to join the class action, and adjourned both cases.


Letter: ‘Shockingly expensive’ drug could be a bargain

Re: “Hepatitis C medication may prove unaffordable” (Gazette, April 22)

Why does it seem only new drug treatments elicit the question whether we can afford them? If a new surgical technique and hospital stay cost $55,000 but permitted a 90-to-100-per cent cure rate for hepatitis C, as the new drugs apparently do, would we ask the same question? Would it also be described as “shockingly expensive?” I doubt it.

It costs $60,000 every year to keep someone with kidney failure alive with dialysis. Do we ask if we can afford this? Do we ask if the cost of treating a stroke, heart attack or trauma victim is “affordable?”

No, of course not.


Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug a smashing success

Gilead Sciences' breakthrough hepatitis C drug may have smashed the record books.
he Foster City company said Sovaldi generated nearly $2.3 billion in the first three months of the year, easily surpassing analysts' estimates of $1 billion. That would make Sovaldi the best-selling new drug of all time, according to some analysts.

"This is the biggest launch of a new drug in first-quarter sales that we're aware of," said Michael Yee, an analyst for RBC Capital Markets. "I think it's a testament to the transformation breakthrough this drug is providing, which is essentially a cure in a pill."


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nursing Home Faces Hepatitis C Outbreak

"While the health department doesn’t want to make any rash statements, it has theorized that the cause was likely foot and nail care or blood services. It’s not unusual to have plenty of uncertainty in such a case."

Elder abuse cases have been making headlines around the country. Now the first hepatitis C outbreak in a nursing home has spawned a lawsuit a rash of diagnoses turned up in North Dakota facility.

So far, two residents are suing for monetary damages, under the claim that ManorCare Health Services didn’t protect residents adequately. However, more victims may join the lawsuit shortly, because 44 confirmed cases of hepatitis C have been identified, and all may be linked to the care facility and/or staff’s actions (or lack thereof).

Plaintiffs may apply for class-action lawsuit status to streamline the process and help win compensation for those who were affected.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1221794/nursing-home-faces-hepatitis-c-outbreak/#jBaduww7RU3j8gzd.99