Local public health officials are seeing up to 60 cases a year of Hepatitis C in Hastings and Prince Edward counties.
Program manager Stephanie McFaul told the Hastings Prince Edward Board of Health Wednesday the higher rates are men in the 50-to-59 year-old age group.
McFaul says it can cause serious problems if it goes undetected.
She says that, if detected early, the cure rate is up to 98% for Hepatits C. The health unit is involved in a needle exchange program and public education.
McFaul says there are a number of groups at risk including the following:
Sexual (particularly men who have sex with men, HIV positive); mother to child, approximately 6% risk; medical and dental procedures (e.g. dialysis,
Sharing of personal hygiene items; tattooing and body piercing; occupational/needle stick injuries
Fighting the flu
This year’s vaccine is a “good match” in fighting influenza, according to local public health officials.
Hastings Prince Edward Interim Medical Officer of Health Dr. Peter Oglaza told the Board of Health Wednesday that the flu season is now entering its peak so it’s late to get a flu shot.
It takes two weeks for the immunization to become effective.
Oglaza says it has been a “moderate to severe year”.
He pointed out that since the virus varies each year, it’s difficult to get a vaccine that gets to the “core of the virus but work is underway on that.”