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Health
Hepatitis tests urged for some Alaska Natives


Alaska Natives who were born before 1992 and received neonatal intensive care in Anchorage are being urged to get tested for hepatitis C.

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium says as many as 8 percent of Alaska Native babies may have contracted the disease if they received transfusions. In some cases, the parents may not have known their infants were given a transfusion.

The consortium has already contacted 651 people who were born at Alaska Native Medical Center and Providence Alaska Medical Center between 1975 and 1992. Of those, 3 percent -- a significant amount -- have tested positive for hepatitis C.

The consortium is trying to reach an additional 898 people to urge them to get tested. Overall, as many as 8 percent, or as few as 1 percent, could have the disease, which has no cure but can be treated with drugs.

Get the Story:
Researchers urge some to be tested for hepatitis C (The Anchorage Daily News 5/22)
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Relevant Links:
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium - http://www.anthc.org