It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Message Board
THIS MESSAGE BOARD IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. TO SEE OUR ACTIVE MESSAGE BOARDS, PLEASE GO HERE





Hepatitis C Outreach Project in the news!

Hepatitis C Outreach Project in the news!

[ Back to Messages ]

Message

Posted by thanbey on October 08, 2000 at 18:06:35:


For the full text articles, go to
http://www.yakima-herald.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=bodysoul?bodysoul

There are other articles on HCV as well.


Teresa Hanbey
Executive Director
Hepatitis C Outreach Project

www.hcop.org

Selah Hepatitis C Victim Determined to Help Others

Published in the Herald-Republic on Saturday, October 7, 2000

GORDON KING/Yakima Herald-Republic

Marilyn Fite of Selah has been suffering from hepatitis C for 20 years. She is
a director of the Hepatitis C Outreach Project, a national project to educate
people about the disease that has been termed a "silent epidemic."

By ED STOVER

YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC

As illnesses go, it is an iceberg that has found its Titanic -- a largely
unaware population that, through bad luck or bad living, is on a collision
course with a shadowy virus that has the potential to kill.

Like the iceberg, there is more to the illness than meets the eye -- much
more, says Marilyn Fite of Selah, a director of the Hepatitis C Outreach
Project, an education group that mentors hepatitis C virus patients
nationwide.

"It's called the 'silent epidemic,' " says Fite, 56, an HCV patient who thinks
she was infected in 1971 after receiving blood transfusions following an auto
accident.

That's part of the trouble. People who get HCV can only guess when the
infection occurred. It takes awhile to get sick, and the symptoms are
confusing. Fite wasn't symptomatic until 1980, before the virus even had a
name. In those days, doctors called it "non-A" or "non-B," to distinguish it
from other forms of hepatitis, which ultimately attacks the liver.

"It can be a feeling of malaise, that something is wrong, but you can't put a
finger on it," she says.

It can be constant digestive problems: diarrhea, gas, irritable bowels. Flu-like
symptoms are common, or joint and muscle pain. Undue fatigue and
depression can occur.

Other symptoms include thyroiditis, eye and ear problems, rheumatoid
arthritis, itchiness, nausea, headaches, and discomfort or swelling around
the liver. Fibromyalgia can be related to HCV.

"For me, it was constant vasculitis -- an inflammation of the blood vessels,"
says Fite. She went to doctors, who simply diagnosed the symptoms. It
wasn't until 1994 that, finally, she found a doctor who knew about HCV.

"She said, 'My God, why hasn't somebody done something for you?' She
conducted a blood test and, lo and behold, that's what it was."

HCV can kill, says Fite.

According to Outreach literature, 5 percent to 10 percent of those infected
do, in time, experience liver failure or liver cancer. Another 15 percent will
reject the disease. The remainder will develop chronic HCV, ranging from no
symptoms to serious problems.

Fite was treated with interferon, one of a range of effective drugs. She is
currently in remission.

"But there could be a reservoir of it (virus) elsewhere in my body," she says,
adding that she takes no chances.

"One thing we do around this house -- nobody uses my nail clippers, my
razors, my nail files, my anything. I'm always careful in the kitchen. If I get a
cut and I'm bleeding, I tell my family, 'Don't touch me!' It's just a precaution."

The disease is transmitted by infected blood getting into the bloodstream of
an uninfected person. That's why, before 1992, blood banks were a frequent
source of the virus. An HCV-infected person would give blood; that infected
blood would be given to people like Fite in need of a transfusion.

That's what happened to retired Moxee farmer Bill Desallier, who also has
HCV.

"I figure it was a blood transfusion in the 1960s," says Desallier, 60, who is
studying at Yakima Valley Community College to be a chemical
dependency counselor. Desallier had an operation for bleeding ulcers and
received several pints of blood. However, nothing was amiss for years.

"It was in 1987 or '88, and I felt really fatigued," says Desallier. The first
diagnosis was hepatitis B; that was changed to non-A, then non-B. A blood
test in 1991 finally revealed he had HCV, though now he is symptom-free.

Today, donor blood is routinely screened for HCV and other forms of
hepatitis, as well as HIV. That is how, in 1998, Charla Hanks of Sunnyside
learned she had HCV.

"I went to donate blood and they told me," says Hanks, 45. She thinks she
was exposed to tainted blood at either a nursing home where she worked 10
years ago, or possibly it was a young girl she helped in a park about seven
years ago.

"She was bleeding badly from a fall and I put my hand on her forehead, and I
think I had a scratch on my hand," recalls Hanks. She started feeling
anemic four or five years ago, but blamed it on menstrual problems. Then
came the screening for HCV in 1998.

"I'm one of the lucky ones -- I didn't drink or do drugs or anything like that so
my liver had been protected. I've also been tested for fibromyalgia, since a
lot of people with 'hep C' do have that."

These days, HCV infections are often the result of bad living habits:
intravenous drug use, nasal cocaine use, casual sex with infected partners
with cuts or sores, body piercing with unclean tools or getting tattooed with
ink that also was used on an infected person -- the list goes on.

"More now are getting it through drug use," says Fite, who travels throughout
the United States in her role as mentoring coordinator for the HCV Outreach
Project.

The statistics are alarming, rivaling HIV/AIDS in scope and cost.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 200 million people
worldwide are infected. That includes nearly 5 million people in the United
States, or about 1.8 percent of the population. In Washington state, that
would translate to about 101,000 cases.

"Some population groups are much higher," says Fite, explaining that the
HCV rate is even higher among veterans, minorities, prisoners and drug
addicts.

Researchers agree, the statistics are probably way low.

"In 1995, the research said 1 percent of the population was infected," says
Fite. "Now it's 1.8 percent. What will it be in another five years?"

The CDC estimates that just 10 percent of all HCV cases have been
diagnosed. The Yakima Valley, with its low-income, migrant population and
its drug problems, is likely much higher than the national average. With an
estimated 214,000 people in the county, a 1.8 percent HCV rate would
amount to 3,852 cases.

"I think it's clear that we don't have a handle on the number of cases here,"
says Marianne Patnode, coordinator of communicable disease services for
the Yakima County Health District.

In the first six months of this year, the district received two reports of acute
(initial onset) HCV, and 106 cases of chronic (ongoing) HCV. That compares
to one acute and 117 chronic for all of 1999.

Nationwide, the numbers carry a price tag, says Fite, pointing out that the
CDC estimates that medical expenses and work loss for just the known
cases amount to $600 million. That doesn't count liver transplants, which run
$250,000 each -- that's just the operation, not post-operative care (liver
failure due to HCV is now the leading cause of liver transplants).

Prescription drugs to control the condition can run as high as $1,500 a
month, so lack of health insurance can be a barrier to getting treatment.

What's clear is that authorities are seeing just the tip of the HCV iceberg,
which now kills 10,000 people a year (the CDC expects that to triple within
10 years). Meanwhile, denial, misinformation and lack of information are
holding people back from the routine blood test that will tell them if they have
HCV.

It is not a disease to fear, it is one to be controlled, says Fite, emphasizing
that people with HCV can lead normal lives if they take care of themselves.
And HCV is not something that is contracted by hugging, kissing, sneezing,
coughing or other casual contact.

Also, the virus is rarely passed on through childbirth, perhaps 5 percent of
the time, and usually the baby's immune system will reject the virus by his
or her second year.

"Yet, it's still considered dirty and demeaning -- people have been released
from their jobs because of HCV," says Fite. That's discrimination, but it
happens. It can make you feel so isolated, so lonely."

That's why Fite has made it her mission to educate people about HCV.
That's why she facilitates a support group at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of
each month at Wellness House, 210 S. 10th Ave., Suite 40, in Yakima.

Anyone interested is welcome, she says. For information, call Wellness
House at 575-6686. Or check the Outreach Project's Web site:
www.hcop.org


Reply to this Message
Other posts by THanbey (WebMD)


Collapse Messages

In the News (by THanbey (WebMD) 1 minute ago) NEW!
If you want to see a picture of Marilyn, go to the website

http://www.yakima-herald.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=bodysoul?bodysoul

There are other articles on HCV as well.

You go, Marilyn!!

thanbey

www.hcop.org

Selah Hepatitis C Victim Determined to Help Others

Published in the Herald-Republic on Saturday, October 7, 2000

GORDON KING/Yakima Herald-Republic

Marilyn Fite of Selah has been suffering from hepatitis C for 20 years. She
is a director of the Hepatitis C Outreach Project, a national project to
educate people about the disease that has been termed a "silent epidemic."

By ED STOVER

YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC

As illnesses go, it is an iceberg that has found its Titanic -- a largely
unaware population that, through bad luck or bad living, is on a collision
course with a shadowy virus that has the potential to kill.

Like the iceberg, there is more to the illness than meets the eye -- much
more, says Marilyn Fite of Selah, a director of the Hepatitis C Outreach
Project, an education group that mentors hepatitis C virus patients
nationwide.

"It's called the 'silent epidemic,' " says Fite, 56, an HCV patient who thinks
she was infected in 1971 after receiving blood transfusions following an auto
accident.

That's part of the trouble. People who get HCV can only guess when the
infection occurred. It takes awhile to get sick, and the symptoms are
confusing. Fite wasn't symptomatic until 1980, before the virus even had a
name. In those days, doctors called it "non-A" or "non-B," to distinguish it
from other forms of hepatitis, which ultimately attacks the liver.

"It can be a feeling of malaise, that something is wrong, but you can't put a
finger on it," she says.

It can be constant digestive problems: diarrhea, gas, irritable bowels.
Flu-like symptoms are common, or joint and muscle pain. Undue fatigue
and depression can occur.

Other symptoms include thyroiditis, eye and ear problems, rheumatoid
arthritis, itchiness, nausea, headaches, and discomfort or swelling around
the liver. Fibromyalgia can be related to HCV.

"For me, it was constant vasculitis -- an inflammation of the blood vessels,"
says Fite. She went to doctors, who simply diagnosed the symptoms. It
wasn't until 1994 that, finally, she found a doctor who knew about HCV.

"She said, 'My God, why hasn't somebody done something for you?' She
conducted a blood test and, lo and behold, that's what it was."

HCV can kill, says Fite.

According to Outreach literature, 5 percent to 10 percent of those infected
do, in time, experience liver failure or liver cancer. Another 15 percent will
reject the disease. The remainder will develop chronic HCV, ranging from no
symptoms to serious problems.

Fite was treated with interferon, one of a range of effective drugs. She is
currently in remission.

"But there could be a reservoir of it (virus) elsewhere in my body," she says,
adding that she takes no chances.

"One thing we do around this house -- nobody uses my nail clippers, my
razors, my nail files, my anything. I'm always careful in the kitchen. If I get a
cut and I'm bleeding, I tell my family, 'Don't touch me!' It's just a precaution."

The disease is transmitted by infected blood getting into the bloodstream of
an uninfected person. That's why, before 1992, blood banks were a frequent
source of the virus. An HCV-infected person would give blood; that infected
blood would be given to people like Fite in need of a transfusion.

That's what happened to retired Moxee farmer Bill Desallier, who also has
HCV.

"I figure it was a blood transfusion in the 1960s," says Desallier, 60, who is
studying at Yakima Valley Community College to be a chemical
dependency counselor. Desallier had an operation for bleeding ulcers and
received several pints of blood. However, nothing was amiss for years.

"It was in 1987 or '88, and I felt really fatigued," says Desallier. The first
diagnosis was hepatitis B; that was changed to non-A, then non-B. A blood
test in 1991 finally revealed he had HCV, though now he is symptom-free.

Today, donor blood is routinely screened for HCV and other forms of
hepatitis, as well as HIV. That is how, in 1998, Charla Hanks of Sunnyside
learned she had HCV.

"I went to donate blood and they told me," says Hanks, 45. She thinks she
was exposed to tainted blood at either a nursing home where she worked
10 years ago, or possibly it was a young girl she helped in a park about
seven years ago.

"She was bleeding badly from a fall and I put my hand on her forehead, and
I think I had a scratch on my hand," recalls Hanks. She started feeling
anemic four or five years ago, but blamed it on menstrual problems. Then
came the screening for HCV in 1998.

"I'm one of the lucky ones -- I didn't drink or do drugs or anything like that
so my liver had been protected. I've also been tested for fibromyalgia, since
a lot of people with 'hep C' do have that."

These days, HCV infections are often the result of bad living habits:
intravenous drug use, nasal cocaine use, casual sex with infected partners
with cuts or sores, body piercing with unclean tools or getting tattooed with
ink that also was used on an infected person -- the list goes on.

"More now are getting it through drug use," says Fite, who travels
throughout the United States in her role as mentoring coordinator for the
HCV Outreach Project.

The statistics are alarming, rivaling HIV/AIDS in scope and cost.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 200 million people
worldwide are infected. That includes nearly 5 million people in the United
States, or about 1.8 percent of the population. In Washington state, that
would translate to about 101,000 cases.

"Some population groups are much higher," says Fite, explaining that the
HCV rate is even higher among veterans, minorities, prisoners and drug
addicts.

Researchers agree, the statistics are probably way low.

"In 1995, the research said 1 percent of the population was infected," says
Fite. "Now it's 1.8 percent. What will it be in another five years?"

The CDC estimates that just 10 percent of all HCV cases have been
diagnosed. The Yakima Valley, with its low-income, migrant population and
its drug problems, is likely much higher than the national average. With an
estimated 214,000 people in the county, a 1.8 percent HCV rate would
amount to 3,852 cases.

"I think it's clear that we don't have a handle on the number of cases here,"
says Marianne Patnode, coordinator of communicable disease services for
the Yakima County Health District.

In the first six months of this year, the district received two reports of acute
(initial onset) HCV, and 106 cases of chronic (ongoing) HCV. That
compares to one acute and 117 chronic for all of 1999.

Nationwide, the numbers carry a price tag, says Fite, pointing out that the
CDC estimates that medical expenses and work loss for just the known
cases amount to $600 million. That doesn't count liver transplants, which
run $250,000 each -- that's just the operation, not post-operative care (liver
failure due to HCV is now the leading cause of liver transplants).

Prescription drugs to control the condition can run as high as $1,500 a
month, so lack of health insurance can be a barrier to getting treatment.

What's clear is that authorities are seeing just the tip of the HCV iceberg,
which now kills 10,000 people a year (the CDC expects that to triple within
10 years). Meanwhile, denial, misinformation and lack of information are
holding people back from the routine blood test that will tell them if they
have HCV.

It is not a disease to fear, it is one to be controlled, says Fite, emphasizing
that people with HCV can lead normal lives if they take care of themselves.
And HCV is not something that is contracted by hugging, kissing,
sneezing, coughing or other casual contact.

Also, the virus is rarely passed on through childbirth, perhaps 5 percent of
the time, and usually the baby's immune system will reject the virus by his
or her second year.

"Yet, it's still considered dirty and demeaning -- people have been released
from their jobs because of HCV," says Fite. That's discrimination, but it
happens. It can make you feel so isolated, so lonely."

That's why Fite has made it her mission to educate people about HCV.
That's why she facilitates a support group at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of
each month at Wellness House, 210 S. 10th Ave., Suite 40, in Yakima.

Check the Outreach Project's Web site:
www.hcop.org


Follow Ups




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:10 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!