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New treatment for hepatitis C

14th April 2014

A new treatment for hepatitis C has delivered a very successful set of results, curing 90% of infected patients within 12 weeks.

needleA recent study has been described by experts as a 'major breakthrough'.

The research was carried out at the University of Texas Health Science Centre. It involved administering an oral drug to 380 patients in 2013, across 78 centres globally. 90% of those tested in the 12-week experiment were healed - this increased to 96% when the treatment was extended to 24 weeks.

Currently in the UK, more than 200,000 people are infected with hepatitis C and related-deaths have trebled. The treatment presently works half the time and only 3% of patients opt to use it. This could be due to the treatment - a year's worth of injections and side-effects including: depression, tiredness and nausea.

Hepatitis C has potential to infect and damage the liver. It can be passed through blood or bodily fluids.

Charles Gore, chief executive at the Hepatitis C Trust, said: "This is a turning point. I think it is incredibly exciting. We suddenly have the opportunity to eliminate the virus in the UK - even without a vaccine."

 

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