Suggest Treatment For Hepatitis C In An Elderly Person
People born between 1945 and 1965 are 5 times more likely to have Hepatitis C. And not know it. It can take many years for it to cause symptoms.
It's thought that our group is more likely to have it because it wasn't identified until 1989, and there was no blood screening or warning about it until 1992.
At highest risk for having Hepatitis C are people who ever used IV drugs (even once), received organ transplants before 1992, received a transfusion before 1992, or have been a health care worker. However, it isn't clear all of the ways people may have been infected, such as sharing a razor, or a toothbrush. So sometimes people have no idea how they were infected.
So, that's the reason for the broad recommendation to have all people born between 1945 and 1965 tested one time.
Yes, it should be picked up with blood donation screening tests.
If you are a regular blood donor since 1992, it should have been picked up if you have it. Donated blood is screened for Hepatitis C, among other things - and if it is positive for Hep C, they are to notify you the donor.
One more question. If you had the shingles virus as a child, do you still need a vaccination for this at 60-65?
There isn't routine screening for Hepatitis C before medical procedures. It might be found if there is already liver involvement and the liver enzymes are high. Then a doctor might order Hepatitis B and C tests to evaluate for hepatitis as a cause of elevated liver enzymes.
Regarding your question on the shingles vaccine:
The virus that causes chicken pox is the same as the virus that causes shingles. However, the first infection with the virus is chicken pox, and then if it re-emerges (it is dormant in root ganglia of our nervous system) then it causes shingles. The vaccine is for the reemergence. Having chicken pox as a child does not protect against shingles. It would be unlikely to also have shingles as a child. Are you sure you had shingles as a child?
This is unusual but it's possible he had a mild case of chicken pox before this and then developed shingles a few years after the chicken pox.
From what I can find, there is still disagreement on whether a person who has had shingles should get the vaccine.
Here is some information that you might find useful, although it's from 2011: http://www.yyyyyyy.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-shingles-vaccine
I had shingles myself a few years ago (in early 50s) and have chosen not to have the vaccine as its efficacy is not as good as I would like to see in an optional vaccine (about 50% effective although may be more effective in people under 80). I am waiting for a newer vaccine that is awaiting FDA approval that is proposed to be significantly more effective and will consider the new one when it comes out.
Here is some information on it: http://www.yyyyyyyyyyyy.com/viewarticle/868816
Best regards -
Ok. He may want to reconsider when the newer shingles vaccine comes out. We'll see how good that one is.
Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh
Practicing since :1991
Answered : 3134 Questions