- Of those tested, 2,150 tested positive for the disease and were assigned to treatment.
Oaxaca – Zoé Robledo, Director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), reports that 469,581 rapid tests for hepatitis C were performed in 2022, of which 2,150 patients tested positive for hepatitis C , 1,992 patients were assigned to drug therapy.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is present in the blood of infected people.
The disease can be acute or chronic, and an infected person can be contagious for a week or more before showing symptoms.
In the framework of World Hepatitis Day, the Social Security Director-General said the condition was the fifth leading cause of primary care at the institute, although it was sometimes diagnosed when patients developed complications such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.
He explained that there are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B; as far as hepatitis C is concerned, the social security and health departments provide effective and free treatment, which can achieve fundamental improvement of the disease, and even cure it.
“It is important to understand these testing campaigns, and IMSS experts say that multiple measures can be taken to prevent infection: not sharing items for personal use that have come into contact with blood or body secretions, getting tattoos or piercings where the material is determined to be sterile”, He said.
Chronic hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral drugs, but treatment decisions should be made in consultation with an experienced physician.
Of note, all blood donations in the United States have been tested for HCV since the early 1990s.