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Resource ID: #20921
Subject: Health
Source: Star (Kansas City, Mo.)
Affiliation: 
Date: November 9-10

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Description

This series documented the government's numerous failures to warn the American public about hepatitis C, a disease that has infected more than 4 million people in the United States. The series found that the federal government promised repeatedly to raise a public alarm about the disease but reneged almost every time. As a result, most people with hepatitis C don't even know they have it and may be spreading it. The series also found that Congress and CDC give hepatitis C a fraction of the funding and attention they give other disease such as West Nile, that has killed several hundreds. The government promised a search to find nearly two hundred thousand patients who received infected blood transfusions before 1992, when a test was available to screen out infected blood, but four years later, the campaign had stalled. The blood industry in the 1980's delayed a screening test six years that could have prevented hepatitis C in more than 300,000 patients who received blood transfusions. the government never ordered the test even though it was aware of the seriousness of the disease.

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