Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Silent Killer Meets Its Match: Hepatitis C

HCV(Hepatitis C Virus) is contracted physically by sharing needles, contamination with another's blood, sexual intercourse, etc. Hep C is not a deadly virus but it can possibly have a cure which has yet to be found. When people are infected they don't show any symptoms right away and it usually doesn't affect their lives but some suffer serious liver issues. Hepatitis C had decreased over the years from it's abundance in the 80's but is beginning to become prevalent again as drugs with needles and tattooing has increased in the newer generations.

While reading the NY times there was this article that was about the immunological discoveries regarding Hepatitis C and a cure. According to Dr.Mitchell, "we are on the verge of wiping out Hepatitis C." A man at 63 was in a clinical trial and appeared to be cured once he took a concoction of IFN and Ribavirin. Ribavirin is a nucleotide inhibitor that ends RNA viral synthesis. This prevents the virus from replicating and then allows IFN to effectively fight off the remaining virus. Sofosbuvir is another inhibitor that acts as a building block of RNA and blocks off virus reproduction. All three of these are needed in order cure the majority of Hep C. These methods are not completely accessible to everyone or effective so they are looking at other methods such as a one-a-day pill and one that doesn't need IFN because that could be detrimental to people with unstable psyche. They are trying to figure out these mechanisms soon and hopefully Hepatitis C cure will be a step in immunological advances for years to come. 



Pollack, Andrew. "A Silent Killer Meets Its Match." NY Times 5 Nov. 2013, sec. D: D1+. Print.

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