Rising numbers of hepatitis C patients treated for liver disease
216,000 people in the UK are now thought to be infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) according to the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA). Thousands of people were also infected accidentally through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. New diagnoses reported in England rose from 7,892 in 2010 to 9,908 in 2011. In the UK hospital admissions for end-stage liver disease related to hepatitis C rose from 612 in 1998 to 1,979 in 2010. Deaths rose from 98 in 1996 to 323 in 2010. The disease can take decades to manifest itself, although it is thought up to one in five people recover naturally in the first six months after contact. Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, nausea, flu-like symptoms, problems concentrating, abdominal pain and jaundice.