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Author Topic: New York State Has a High Rate of Hepatitis C Among Pregnant Women  (Read 6959 times)

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Offline Hep Editors

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    • Hep Mag
Pregnant women in New York state, especially those in central and western New York, have a high rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies. That is according to a new study in which investigators developed a novel test for HCV antibodies in newborns, who initially inherit their mothers’ antibodies to the virus whether or not they are actually infected with hep C.

In effect, this is a proxy test for the mother’s HCV-antibody status, not the baby’s, since having antibodies against the virus directly after birth is not a reliable means of determining whether the newborn carries the virus.

Among adults, testing positive for HCV antibodies means an individual has been exposed to the virus but does not determine whether they have spontaneously cleared the virus without treatment, as occurs in a minority of cases, or whether they have been cured through treatment. A genetic test for the presence of the virus can determine whether an individual currently has the virus.

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