In the past, testing for the virus was available but had to be done at out-of-state laboratories. That resulted in turnaround times of six to eight weeks.
Jennifer Eisner is a spokesperson for the department. She says by conducting the tests in Michigan, potential patients will receive results faster.
“A big part of this is with the quicker turn around time and the sooner someone knows their results, it can help reduce the potential for sexual transmission . Because if you know you have the virus you can take preventive measures to help stop the spread of the disease.”
The virus is spread by mosquito’s and through sexual contact. It is known to cause serious birth defects in infants.
Eisner said symptoms in adults are typically mild, including red eyes, rashes and fevers.
Public health officials say over half of all people with Hepatitis C don’t know they have the illness. It often doesn’t show symptoms. The CDC says middle-aged Americans are one group at risk. And recently the spread of the virus has been tied to 18-29 year old drug users sharing needles.
Jennifer Eisner is a public information officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human services
She says Hep C is a blood borne pathogen that affects the liver. It’s spread by contact with contaminated blood.
“There’s no vaccines for hepatitis C but there are treatments that can cure the infection. But because people with hepatitis C are often asymptomatic then most people have not been tested it’s really important to talk to your doctor and have those conversations to determine if testing is appropriate for you.”
Eisner said if Hepatitis C isn’t treated it can lead to liver cancer and sometimes death.
To find out more information on Hep C and how to get tested visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website
The goal of the series is to give young people a platform to discuss how issues like water access impact communities around the world.
Gayle Broad is an associate professor at Algoma University.
“We provided opportunities for youth to come together and exchange ideas about how they like to see a change in the word. And the issues that the young people were bringing forward were really big issue that they wanted to solve, centered around these three different themes.”
Broad said young people in Colombia will join students from Algoma University via Skype to discuss their changing world in the series’ final session.
If you’ve recently purchased food from salad bars, olive bars, or ready-to-eat hot and cold food areas at several mid-Michigan grocery stores, you’re being urged to throw it out by state health officials. They say it may have been deliberately contaminated by a mixture of mouse poison, hand sanitizer and water. Continue reading →
A little girl’s letter has lead to a presidential trip to Flint next week. The Obama administration announced this week the President will visit Flint next week to hear from residents about the ongoing water crisis.
A new ranking of the safety of Michigan’s hospitals show most hospitals are passing.
The Leapfrog Group used survey data and information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assign each hospital a letter grade.
Out of 80 hospitals in the state, 26 received A’s, 13 B’s, and 37 C’s– that’s 95 percent of all hospitals rated. Three facilities received D’s and one, in Houghton county, in the UP, received an F. Continue reading →
The state’s health director says an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Genesee County did not get the attention it deserved from his agency. He says it was partially due to the department’s focus on a different health threat that never materialized. Continue reading →