OK (KSWO)- An estimated 94,200 Oklahomans living with Hepatitis C virus infection.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is encouraging residents to be tested for the virus as Oklahoma had the highest estimated prevalence in the nation at 3.34 percent, while the national prevalence was 1.67 percent. A total of 523 Oklahomans died due to Hepatitis C from 1999-2012, ranking our state among the highest for Hepatitis C mortality.
Hepatitis C is a virus which can cause serious liver disease. Symptoms include fever, nausea, abdominal pain, or jaundice. Approximately 75 to 85 percent of people who are infected with the virus will develop a chronic condition which can lead to liver problems, including cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer or death.
The virus is spread from exposure to an infected person’s blood, sharing needles or other injection drug equipment, blood transfusions and organ transplants.