Health Professionals to Discuss Hepatitis C

Illness Presents Growing Challenge for Health Care

September 24, 2001

The Erie County Department of Health, in conjunction with the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, has scheduled a conference entitled "Hepatitis C, the Silent Menace: Front Line Strategies for Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention," to be held October 4-5, 2001 in the Center for Biomedical Learning at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Open to all medical providers and other health professionals, the conference will address new advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hepatitis C.

Internationally renowned experts in the field of hepatitis C research and treatment, including Ian Williams, Ph.D., Medical Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), and Morris Sherman, M.D., of the University of Toronto, will present at the two-day event. Day one of the conference is designed for physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, with day two aimed at other allied health professionals who comprise the front line of infection control and treatment.

According to the CDCP, approximately 4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, while countless others are unaware that they have been infected. Although hepatitis C is five times more prevalent than HIV, it has earned the name, "the silent epidemic" because many hepatitis C-infected individuals do not feel sick. Those who do report vague, flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weakness or mild stomach pain.

Individuals who had received blood transfusions prior to 1992, Vietnam-era veterans, or intravenous drug users, have demonstrated a higher than normal incidence of hepatitis C infection. While the Monroe County Health Department is not currently advocating broad-scale screening, it recommends that concerned individuals see their doctors for testing. St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center and Corpus Christie Neighborhood Outreach Center offer testing for the uninsured.

For further information about the conference or to make special access arrangements, please contact the University of Rochester's Center for Biomedical Learning, at (716) 275-6275, weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

For Media Inquiries:
Teri D'Agostino
(585) 275-3676
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