Budapest (MTI) – There are around 70,000 people with the hepatitis C infection in Hungary, 40,000 of whom need medical treatment yet only around 20,000 receive it, a health official said on Tuesday, which is World Hepatitis Day.
Many patients are unaware of the actual moment they contracted the virus due to an initial absence of symptoms, Klara Werling, president of the national association of viral hepatitis patients, told public television news channel M1. But after ten years fatigue often sets in an the disease can ultimately lead 30 years later to cirrhosis and cancer of the liver, she noted.
Highest risk groups such as people who received blood before 1992, drug users, health-care workers and tattoo artists should be tested for the virus, she said. People whose family members carry hepatitis are highly recommended to be tested as well.
July 28 was declared World Hepatitis Day by the UN World Health Organisation to mark the birthday of American doctor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, a Nobel laureate, who discovered the hepatitis B virus and developed its vaccine.