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A woman discovered that she had contracted Hepatitis C when she went to donate blood. She had contracted the disease after being given a contaminated blood transfusion in 1987. She was immediately given medication (injections three times a week and tablets) to prevent the virus developing into such things as cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure or liver cancer. The treatment caused extreme tiredness. Many other people who also became infected through transfusions were awarded compensation payout by the government of 20-45,000 pounds. Hepatitis C infections may be present for decades without symptoms and thus, the condition may be unknowingly spread to other people. An estimated 35,000 Scottish people aren't diagnosed and have no idea they have the condition. The disease can be spread by direct blood-to-blood contact with an infected person, through IV drug use by addicts or through unprotected sex. Blood screening was not embraced until 1991 so anyone who received a blood transfusion prior to that may have been infected and should be tested.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by News Scotsman
About: People who received blood transfusions prior to 1975 may have been infected with Hepatitis C
Date: 20 December 2004
Source: News Scotsman
Author: Julia Horton
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