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New Tools Being Shared to Help Patients with “Silent Stalker” Hepatitis C

Vancouver – A new BC self-learning course for people at risk or affected by hepatitis C will be featured at two national conferences on liver health.​
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“Go For Care: Hepatitis C Knowledge Series” was developed by the BC Centre for Disease Control and released today as an interactive module that provides basic information about hepatitis C.

The new online tool includes information about how hepatitis C is spread, how to get tested, and how best to live with the disease and manage treatments. Narrated with minimal text, it includes videos, quizzes, and downloadable materials. The course is a valuable tool, not only for those with hepatitis C and people at-risk, but also for community services providers to use with their clients.

BCCDC hepatitis service staff and the Canadian Liver Foundation are collaborating to inform the health care community about this module and other complementary resources. Information will be made available at the joint Canadian Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus and Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver annual scientific conference, starting Feb. 8 in Toronto.

It will also be featured at the Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses’ Education Day. It’s hoped the module, available in both English and French, will be a valuable tool for patients and health care professionals nationwide.
Dr. Gail Butt, clinical lead, hepatitis, BCCDC and Assistant Professor, University of BC:
“Our interviews with patients and health-care providers uncovered a need for a resource like this - a one-stop source of basic information that’s easy to use. The Hepatitis Knowledge Series will help people in their understanding of hepatitis C and help them get the care they need.”

Dr. Morris Sherman, chairperson, Canadian Liver Foundation

“There are thousands of Canadians living with hepatitis C who do not know it. Diagnosis often comes as a complete shock leaving people scared and scrambling for answers. This online course will allow newly diagnosed patients to learn about their disease at their own pace, no matter where they are. We are pleased to have been part of the development of such an accessible and patient-friendly tool. ”

Dr. Mel Krajden, medical director, hepatitis service, BCCDC:

“Hepatitis C is a silent stalker reaching into the lives of many unsuspecting people and causing much harm. This module is another important piece in our effort to be more proactive and ultimately help those who suffer and prevent the disease’s further spread.”

Quick Facts:
  • Up to 80,000 British Columbians are affected by hepatitis C and 242,500 people nationally. In 2013, there were nearly 2,000 new diagnoses in the province.
  • Hepatitis C is a virus which is spread when there is blood-to-blood contact with someone who has the disease.
  • This happens most often when people who use drugs share needles and syringes or someone accidently gets pricked by a used needle. 
  • Hepatitis C infections can lead to serious liver disease, liver cancer or premature death. 
  • Current treatments can cure about 65% to 75% of infections; in the next 2 to 5 years, newer treatments that are now in clinical trials are expected to be able to cure greater than 90% of infections with significantly less side effects.  
  • The educational module project was supported by the BCCDC and the University of British Columbia, and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • BCCDC coordinates hepatitis prevention and treatment in British Columbia through a number of ongoing activities: integration of public health and care systems, comprehensive health promotion, and, prevention and care of at-risk individuals and vulnerable populations.
 Learn More:

BC Centre for Disease Control, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides provincial and national leadership in public health through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The centre provides both direct diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities.

Media Contact:
Alex Dabrowski
BC Centre for Disease Control
604-707-2412 or pager: 604-871-5699 



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