The Silent Killer: The truth about Hepatitis C |

The Silent Killer: The truth about Hepatitis C

Cory Fisher

— Nearly 4 million Americans, including roughly 500,000 Californians, have hepatitis C and many of them don’t know it.

— The death toll may triple in the next 10 to 20 years without effective intervention.

— Hepatitis C is four times more prevalent than HIV and if current trends continue, deaths caused by hepatitis C will surpass those caused by AIDS by the year 2000.

— The hepatitis C virus – HCV- is called the silent killer because symptoms may not show up for 10 or 20 years.

— Anyone who has used intravenous drugs or cocaine nasally is potentially at risk.

— One out of 10 young African Americans (age 30 to 50) have hepatitis C.

— While 1.8 percent of the general population has hepatitis C, 2.1 percent of the Hispanic population and 3.2 percent of the African American population suffers from the virus.

Sources: National Institute of Health and Centers for Disease Control.

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