Hepatitis C: Silent Alarm

Number 20921
Subject Health
Source Star (Kansas City, Mo.)
State MO
Year 2003
Publication Date November 9-10
Summary 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.
Pages 58
Keywords hepatitis c;virus;AIDS;public alarm;Congress;Center for Disease Control and Prevention;HCV;funding;West Nile;infected blood transfusions;infected blood;blood industry;screening test;donated blood;CDC;CDC spending;HCV money;National Institute of Health;Health and Human Services;U.S. Food and Drug Administration;FDA's Office of Blood Research and Review;Blood Products Advisory Committee;Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability;blood banks;Community Blood Center of Kansas City;Oklahoma Blood Institute
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