Skip to main content
ad info

 
CNN.com
  health AIDS Aging Alternative Medicine Cancer Children Diet & Fitness Men Women
CNN.com EUROPE:
Editions|myCNN|Video|Audio|News Brief|Free E-mail|Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
HEALTH
TOP STORIES

New treatments hold out hope for breast cancer patients

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

Thousands dead in India; quake toll rapidly rising

Israelis, Palestinians make final push before Israeli election

Davos protesters confront police

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
EDITIONS:
CNN.com U.S.:
*

LOCAL LANGUAGES:



MULTIMEDIA:

CNN WEB SITES:

CNN NETWORKS:
CNN International

TIME INC. SITES:

SITE INFO:

WEB SERVICES:

graphic

U.S. Surgeon General introduces Hepatitis C education campaign

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher and a key House Republican Thursday took steps to increase public awareness about Hepatitis C, a common disease that affects nearly four million people in the United States and more than 100 million people worldwide. Many of those infected do not even know they have it.

  ALSO
 
  RESOURCES
For more information on Hepatitis C, contact the Hepatitis C Hotline at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: at (888) 443-7232
 
 Background:

Symptoms of Hepatitis C:

  • jaundice
  • fatigue
  • abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • intermittent nausea
  • vomiting

Those at risk for hepatitis C include:

  • people who inject drugs
  • hemodialysis patients
  • health care workers
  • people with multiple sex partners
  • sex partners of infected people
  • infants born to infected mothers
  • people who received transfusions before 1992
  • people who received
    clotting factors made before 1987

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Satcher and Rep. Thomas Bliley, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, announced they are sending a pair of letters to all 435 members of the House of Representatives in the hopes that they will help spread information about the potentially deadly virus.

Satcher hopes to have the same kind of outreach that former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop had with his "AIDS letter" in 1986, when brochures about the HIV epidemic were sent to U.S. households.

Koop managed the campaign because he had free postal privileges, something the current surgeon general does not have. According to Satcher's office, sending the letter would cost an estimated $40 million, an impossible task given Satcher's $1 million-a-year budget.

For that reason, Satcher's letter is being sent to every member of the House, in the hopes that those members will pass it on to their constituents. A separate letter from Bliley urges his House colleagues to distribute Satcher's letter.

"Every day of delay could mean increased harm to infected individuals whose livers may be gradually destroyed by chronic liver disease and to advise these individuals not to drink alcohol to prevent the multiplier effect of harm," Bliley wrote.

A spokesperson for the surgeon general said the efforts were "win-win all around."

"The public wins, public health wins, and Congress wins," the spokesperson said.

The surgeon general's office has been active in other Hepatitis C education efforts, including radio and print ads and brochures. "This is just another way to get the word out," said the spokesperson. "It's a chance to build on what we're already doing."

People at risk for Hepatitis C include those who received a blood transfusion or an organ transplant prior to 1992, when there was no known test to screen for the virus, those given clotting factors prior to 1987, intravenous drug users and those who have engaged in high-risk sexual activity.



RELATED STORIES:
Lethal Letters
May 19, 2000
Gene tests may have exposed kids to HIV, hepatitis virus
February 12, 2000
House holds hearing on blood safety and supply
October 6, 1999

RELATED SITES:
The Virtual Office of the Surgeon General
National Center for Infectious Diseases: Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis Foundation International
American Liver Foundation
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
Office of U.S. Representative Thomas Bliley


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.