July 26, 2013

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With ongoing advances in hepatitis diagnosis and monitoring, Abbott has been a leader in developing and improving tests for hepatitis for more than 40 years. On July 28 - World Hepatitis Day - Abbott joins with organizations around the world to help increase awareness of viral hepatitis and related diseases.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 390 million people are living with chronic hepatitis.Of those, an estimated 150 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C, a virus transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected person.1 Unfortunately, because approximately 80 percent of people do not exhibit any symptoms following initial infection, many people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) do not know they are infected.2 If left untreated, HCV can result in serious long-term health problems such as liver damage and cirrhosis; it is also a leading cause of liver cancer.3 The good news is that with early detection and treatment, hepatitis C can be completely cured.

For decades, Abbott has worked to develop products to detect and manage hepatitis. In addition to our comprehensive array of tests for hepatitis A and B, today Abbott offers the following tests to diagnose and monitor the hepatitis C virus across the spectrum of patient care:

  • The ABBOTT PRISM HCV test is used in the blood screening environment and helps prevent the transmission of hepatitis C virus to recipients of blood, blood products, tissue and organs.
  • The ARCHITECT Anti-HCV test helps doctors diagnose hepatitis C by detecting antibodies to the virus in people with signs and symptoms of infection as well as in people who may be at risk for hepatitis C.
  • Once a person is diagnosed with hepatitis C, Abbott’s RealTime HCV Genotype II test, the first and currently only FDA-approved hepatitis C genotyping test, helps physicians find out what type or strain of hepatitis C is present. This enables physicians to create the most effective course of treatment for each patient.
  • Throughout treatment, Abbott’s RealTime HCV-Viral Load test is an important tool for monitoring the amount of virus in a patient’s blood and helps physicians understand if the patient is responding to antiviral therapy.

For people infected with hepatitis C, the World Health Organization recommends4:

  • Education and counseling options for care and treatment;
  • Immunization with the hepatitis A and B vaccines to prevent coinfection from these hepatitis viruses to protect their liver;
  • Early and appropriate medical management including antiviral therapy if appropriate; and
  • Regular monitoring for early diagnosis of chronic liver disease.

For more information:

  • Click here to learn more about hepatitis C, testing for the disease, and who is at risk [infographic]
  • Click here for a video about Abbott’s commitment to hepatitis
  • Click here to read about Abbott’s recently FDA-approved hepatitis C genotyping test
  • Click here to learn about World Hepatitis Day on the World Health Organization (WHO) website

References

1 World Health Organization. Hepatitis C Fact Sheet, No. 164. July 2012.

2 World Health Organization. Hepatitis C Fact Sheet, No. 164. July 2012.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers’ Health, Map 3-05: Prevalence of Chronic Hepatitis C Infection. July 2011.

4 World Health Organization Hepatitis C Fact Sheet, No. 164, July 2013.

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