The Hepatitis C virus was identified in 1989. Adequate diagnosis tests have been available since 1991. Hepatitis C is a complicated virus. It has at least 9 main subtypes, called genotypes. The Hepatitis C virus is one of the most common causes of liver disease in the world today. Most people don’t feel ill when first they become infected with Hepatitis C. Only one in every twenty people feel unwell. Currently, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.
In Ireland, 220 people with haemophilia who received blood products prior to 1990 contracted Hepatitis C. Approximately 20% of people with von Willebrand\’s disease who regularly received blood products also contracted Hepatitis C. If you were infected by blood or blood products in Ireland, you are entitled to a range of health and related services, free of charge. These services are provided under the Health Amendment Act 1996, under the HAA Card.
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