News Release Archive

The chief medical officers of the four Atlantic Provinces are
advising individuals with risk factors for Hepatitis C to talk
with their family doctor about getting tested.

Hepatitis C, which can result in liver disease, is carried in a
person's blood and body fluids. In many cases, individuals may be
infected with Hepatitis C without experiencing any symptoms.
Anyone who is at risk should be tested so they can seek early
treatment while reducing the risk of transmission to others.

Individuals at risk of Hepatitis C infection:

-  have a history of injection drug use (such as street drugs and
   steroids) involving needles shared with others;

-  received blood or blood products prior to June 1990 (after
   that date, blood was screened for Hepatitis C and the risk
   became very low);

-  were exposed to infection through needle stick injuries,
   tattoos and body piercing with contaminated equipment; or,

-  in rare cases, from sexual contact with an infected person.

In each of the Atlantic Provinces, reported cases of Hepatitis C
are increasing as testing for the disease has become more
commonplace in the last few years.

The general public can take precautionary steps to avoid
potential contact with Hepatitis C. For example, ensure needles
are clean, don't share toothbrushes and razors with others and
always practice safe sex. People diagnosed with Hepatitis C
should discuss practices to reduce the impact and transmission of
the disease with their family physician.

Hepatitis C infection is caused by a virus. Symptoms may take
years or even decades to appear.


Contact: Lori MacLean    902-424-5025

         Dr. Jeff Scott  902-424-8698

trp                      Jan. 30, 1997 - 1:50 p.m.