VA to conduct free hepatitis C screenings

1 year 9 months 2 weeks ago Monday, May 08 2017 May 8, 2017 Monday, May 08, 2017 1:07:00 PM CDT May 08, 2017 in News
By: Karla Valcourt, KOMU 8 News
loading

COLUMBIA - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will conduct free hepatitis C virus (HCV) screenings Friday.

The hospital is targeting veterans enrolled in the VA health care system who are between 52 and 72 years old. 

VA chief of staff Lana Zerrer said 75 percent of people with hepatitis C have no symptoms. She also said 75 percent of people with the virus develop chronic liver disease.

According to Zerrer, blood contact is the most common factor in spreading the virus.

"Health care workers are at higher risk," Zerrer said. "Also, people who have used intravenous drugs and people who have had blood transfusions before the 90's.

Veterans who experienced blood contact in combat are also at a higher risk. 

The cure rate for the virus nationally is between 50 to 90 percent. Zerrer said the hospital has a strong treatment record.

"We're seeing over a 90 percent cure rate her at the VA," Zerrer said.

She said, over the past couple of years, HCV drugs have improved and the cost of treatment has decreased.

"When the new drugs first came out, one treatment regimen was about $90,000 for one patient, but over the last couple of years, that cost has come down and now it's running anywhere from $12,000 to $18,000 per patient," Zerrer said.

The hospital does screen patients who come in for regular checkups since some are not aware of the symptoms.

"We're trying to get more information to the community about hepatitis C just to try to get more people in the door to get screened," Zerrer said.

Nationally, the VA has treated more than 60,000 veterans for HCV. Locally, the VA has treated hundreds of veterans, Zerrer said. 

This Friday will be the VA's second HCV screening. 50 people came to the first screening.

 VA Public Affairs officer Stephen Gaither said he hopes Friday will have the same turnout.

"If it's even one person, that will be one person that wasn't screened before," he said.

Scheduled screenings are:

  • Friday, May 26 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 31 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 14 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A woman was killed and another seriously hurt after a head-on crash in Columbia Thursday morning. ... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, February 21 2019 Feb 21, 2019 Thursday, February 21, 2019 5:42:00 PM CST February 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Lawmakers say home care providers would become more accountable under a bill introduced in a Senate committee... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, February 21 2019 Feb 21, 2019 Thursday, February 21, 2019 3:43:00 PM CST February 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission approved a letter of support Thursday to contribute $2 million from county tax revenues... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, February 21 2019 Feb 21, 2019 Thursday, February 21, 2019 3:35:00 PM CST February 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – A new Senate bill would force people who poach wildlife to pay for it, literally, by putting money... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, February 21 2019 Feb 21, 2019 Thursday, February 21, 2019 3:21:00 PM CST February 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A longtime supporter of the Mizzou New Music Initiative at the School of Music is donating $2.5 million... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 21 2019 Feb 21, 2019 Thursday, February 21, 2019 11:32:00 AM CST February 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says state lawmakers are "grandstanding" by holding numerous hearings to discuss a tax... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 21 2019 Feb 21, 2019 Thursday, February 21, 2019 10:50:00 AM CST February 21, 2019 in News
RIMINI (AP) — Every day many millions of gallons of water loaded with arsenic, lead and other toxic metals flow... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 21 2019 Feb 21, 2019 Thursday, February 21, 2019 4:21:00 AM CST February 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- The police department held its first meeting Wednesday night to discuss perceived racial disparity issues regarding traffic stops. ... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 7:54:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - ABC Chinese Cuisine reopened Wednesday following an investigation and clean-up after a person was found dead inside of... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 7:31:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Four days after a fatal car crash, police have made no arrests. The incident involved two crashes... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 5:48:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - At least 1 million children were impacted by identity theft in the past year. A 2018 study... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 5:30:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Even though people are dying from fentanyl overdoses in Missouri, there is no law that prosecutes someone who... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 4:06:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is launching his own investigation of a St. Louis day care... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:38:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in News
ST.LOUIS - Men transform into kings and represent their university and ancestors in an annual competition. Harris Stowe State... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:35:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in News
HARRISBURG - An energy company is hoping to bring a wind farm to Boone County and wants to get to... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:33:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in News
STURGEON –The city of Sturgeon put its police chief on unpaid administrative leave Tuesday, after firing and reinstating him. The... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:12:00 PM CST February 20, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The state fire marshal is investigating multiple potential cases of arson after officials found bales of hay... More >>
2 days ago Wednesday, February 20 2019 Feb 20, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 11:40:00 AM CST February 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Mothers advocating for gun control rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday. The Missouri Chapter of Moms... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 19 2019 Feb 19, 2019 Tuesday, February 19, 2019 11:04:00 PM CST February 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 40°
3pm 40°
4pm 40°
5pm 40°
6pm 40°