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Hepatitis C

Raymond S. Koff
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 5 Number 4: Page 16 (August 1998)

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Abstract: Hepatitis C is a chronic condition in about 85% of infected people because the natural immune response to the hepatitis C virus is weak. In some patients with persistent infection, variously estimated at 2% to 20%, and especially in those who use alcohol, hepatitis C progresses to cirrhosis and its complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma. the hepatitis C virus has also been linked to a spectrum of other diseases. Current therapy for chronic hepatitis C aims to enhance the immune and antiviral response with a lengthsy course of interferon alpha, but viral RNA becomes undetectable in no more than 25% of treated patients. Comvination therapy, interferon plus ribavirin, may produce a sustained RNA response in 40%.

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