One Person Can Quickly Cause Hep C Transmission

February 1, 2013

Hospital PlugsA new study reveals “super-spreaders”, people who rapidly spread Hep C, could be a good target for reducing Hep C transmission.

Mostly intravenous drug users, “super-spreaders” may spread Hep C to 20 or more people—and not just other drug users, as we’ve seen in the hospital outbreaks of late.

Hep C transmission is hard to track. Hep C symptoms barely show up during the first years of the infection, and tracing the origin of the virus 20 years on can be near impossible. And if people don’t get tested for Hep C as routine care, it’s easy not to know you have it, leading to more Hep C transmission.

For that reason, targeting high-risk individuals like drug users could help to stop Hep C transmission. One of the key failings in the Exeter Hospital Hep C outbreak was that the man who spread the Hep C had a known drug problem, but rather than address it co-workers ignored it. Acknowledging the high risk for Hep C transmission drug addicts present could help reduce Hepatitis C outbreaks, especially in hospital settings.

What are your thoughts on Hep C transmission?

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