In Canada, hepatitis C affects at least 350,000 individuals — some of whom are not even aware of their infection and continue transmitting the virus. To call attention to this health problem, the Gastrointestinal Society released a video about hepatitis C to foster awareness and educate Canadians on the risk factors for the disease.
The GI Society video includes information on the diagnosis, testing, treatment, management, symptoms, and other information to make the population aware of the infection and help in stopping its spread. The video can be viewed online in English below, and in French at www.mauxdeventre.org. In the English version, Dr. James Gray, Chair of the Gastrointestinal Society and Canadian Society of Intestinal Research Medical Advisory Council and Gastrointestinal Society co-founder narrates, while the narrator in the French version is Jean Bruyère.
“It’s very important that individuals with risk factors get tested for the hepatitis C virus,” said Dr. James Gray in a news release. He added that ideally we should be able to inhibit transmission of the virus through timely and adequate diagnostics and treatment.
Gail Attara, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of the Gastrointestinal Society, and video producer, said, “We are grateful for the medical support of Dr. James R. Gray and Dr. Ed Tam, Hepatologist, of the Liver and Intestinal Research (LAIR) Centre.”
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus, a blood-borne virus. Patients with hepatitis C may not have any symptoms, which are normally non-distinct, such as mild fatigue or discomfort in the abdomen. If not treated properly and early on, this infection can induce liver damage, and patients that are chronically infected will probably develop liver pathologies, such as cirrhosis (destruction of normal liver tissue) and, eventually, cancer. There is no vaccine for HCV, contrary to hepatitis A and hepatitis B viruses, but thanks to the many advances of research and development, today’s new therapies can adequately address this life-threatening infection.