Hep C quiz – how much do you know?

September 13, 2011

Dr. Jeffrey Crippin

Yesterday afternoon, we shot an interview with Washington University physician Dr. Jeff Crippin, the medical  director of liver transplant here at Barnes-Jewish. He talked to us about hepatitis C. We should have that video ready to show you in a few weeks.

In the meantime, we got some interesting facts from Dr. Crippin to will test your hep C knowledge:

1. Hepatitis C is the leading reason for liver transplant in the U.S.  True or False?

2. The hep C rate  is dramatically increasing in the U. S.  True or False?

3. Eating food handled by an infected person, sexual contact and using an unclean public bathroom are all common ways of contracting hep C.  True or False?

4.  Alcohol can make hep C worse. True or False?

5. You can be infected with hep C for decades without having symptoms. True or False.

6. Hep C is an incurable disease. True or False?

Answers

1. True.  Currently, liver failure due to damage caused by hep C is the leading reason for liver transplant in the U.S.

2. False. Since 1992, when a test was developed to screen for hep C antibodies in donated blood, hep C cases caused by tainted blood transfusions have been virtually eliminated. This has led to an overall decline in the rate of hep C in the U.S.

3. False. The hepatitis C virus is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact. Intravenous drug use, tattoos using a contaminated needle, needle stick injuries to healthcare workers and transfusions before 1992 are common means of transmission for hep C.

4. True. Drinking alcohol can damage the liver and can cause hep C to progress faster.

5. True. Hep C can be present in a patient for 20 years or more before symptoms appear. For many patients, the first symptom is liver damage.

6. False. Hepatitis C can be treated with a combination of two drugs, interferon and ribavirin. Some patients may also get a drug called a protease inhibitor. In up to 80 percent of patients, these drug clear the virus from the system. For many of the patients who respond to these drugs, the virus never returns and the patients are considered cured.

How’d you do? If you missed any of the questions, you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss Dr. Crippin’s video!

-Kathryn Holleman


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