Hepatitis C testing

People in Lincoln are being encouraged to get tested for and learn more about Hepatitis C.

National

Hepatitis C cases increase by a third in England

The number of cases of hepatitis C has increased by more than a third in two years, figures show.

There were 7,882 cases confirmed in England in 2010, rising to 10,873 in 2012, Public Health England (PHE) said.

A man is tested for hepatitis B and C.
A man is tested for hepatitis B and C. Credit: Zak Hussein/PA Wire

Experts estimate there are around 160,000 people in England living with chronic hepatitis C, officials said.

Many of them are unaware they are infected.

National

Symptoms of hepatitis C often go unnoticed

The hepatitis C virus causes inflammation of the liver and, if left untreated, can result in liver disease, liver failure and even death.

Because the liver can still function when it is damaged, infected people can be unaware they have the disease because they suffer no symptoms.

When symptoms do occur, they are often vague and can be easily mistaken for another condition. Symptoms include:

  • flu-like symptoms including a high temperature
  • feeling tired all the time
  • headaches
  • problems with short-term memory
  • depression
  • stomach pains
  • feeling or being sick
  • loss of appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • itchy skin
  • joint and muscle aches and pain

In England, the most common way people catch the infection is by sharing injectable drugs equipment - accounting for nine in every 10 cases.

Less commonly, people can get hepatitis C through sex or being exposed to infected body fluids.

  • For more information on hepatitis C see the NHS website

Advertisement

Calendar

Hepatitis C testing roadshow arrives in Lincoln

Health experts have arrived in Lincoln on a mission to identify the thousands of people across England and Wales who do not realise they have hepatitis C. The disease, if left undiagnosed, can cause serious liver damage and even death. This new roadshow is offering quick tests for the condition.

Our World Hepatitis Day message is clear: if you think you have ever been at risk of hepatitis C, get tested. It can save your life. People are needlessly dying from this preventable and curable disease because they simply don't know they have it. What a waste of lives; and it's also a waste of money. If the health service can't see the human imperative of increasing testing, they should at least be able to understand the economic case.

– Charles Gore, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust
Calendar

Hepatitis C testing in Lincoln

People in Lincoln are being encouraged to get tested for and learn more about Hepatitis C.

A roadshow is taking place with the aim of helping thousands of people who have the blood-borne virus but don’t know it.

The Hepatitis C Trust estimates that almost 1,500 people in Lincolnshire have the disease but that over half of them are unaware.

People are needlessly dying from this preventable and curable disease because they simply don't know they have it.

What a waste of lives; and it's also a waste of money. If the health service can't see the human imperative of increasing testing, they should at least be able to understand the economic case.

– Charles Gore, Chief Executive of the Hepatitis C Trust

It’s estimated almost quarter of a million people in the UK have hepatitis – which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

It is common that many people live with hepatitis C without ever realising because they often don't have symptoms.

Treatment is much more difficult if the disease is caught late and therefore it's imperative that we diagnose people as early as possible to maximise the chance

I am a strong believer in screening as many people as we can, so localised events like this roadshow are incredibly important.

– Karen Murray, Hepatitis C Nurse Specialist at Lincoln County Hospital

UK's first hepatitis testing roadshow comes to Lincoln

The UK's first roadshow to test people for hepatitis C will arrive in the Midlands today, to help identify the thousands of people suffering from the disease without knowing it.

There are around 1,453 people in the Linconshire area alone with hepatitis C - but fewer than half are likely to have been diagnosed.

The Hepatitis C Trust will set up shop at Cornhill, just off Lincoln High Street, between 10m and 4pm as part of a series of roadshows to mark World Hepatitis Day on July 28.

Trust chief executive Charles Gore said:

People are needlessly dying from this preventable and curable disease because they simply don't know they have it.

What a waste of lives; and it's also a waste of money.

If the health service can't see the human imperative of increasing testing, they should at least be able to understand the economic case.