Sunday, January 28, 2018

HCV Updates & A Look At The Most Intense Flu Season In Years

Welcome, sit back and catch up on notable research articles and blog updates on the topic of viral hepatitis. However, we begin with updates on this year's flu season, with experts reporting it's the worst in nearly a decade

A Look At The Most Intense Flu Season In Years

Keep up with the latest flu news as it is posted on the CDC's website.

Transcript for CDC Update on Widespread Flu Activity
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
We called this briefing to get you the latest FluView numbers and to provide advice on preventing the flu and information about what people can do to reduce the risk of flu or serious illness.
Listen here

The American Council on Science and Health
This Year's Flu Is Different - It Kills In Two Ways
Jan 29, 2018
It is the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Spanish flu (1,2) pandemic, and the date is not the only similarity between the two. While it is impossible that the morbidity and mortality that is being caused by this year's H3N2 strain (3) will even approach that of the monster that infected 5% of the world, killing 2% of it, there is one troubling feature that this year's strain shares with its centennial cousin. Flu typically kills because of secondary infections, usually pneumonia. While both "18s" do this, they also kill people directly. This is the scary part. The latter is mercifully rare but it dominates the news. Children seem to be more susceptible rapid deaths. Cases have been recently reported in Florida, California, and Connecticut. And it may be growing, especially as new strains emerge (4). The cause of fast deaths is very different from that normally seen in flu death. It is more insidious, harder to prevent and can nothing can be done about it. One hundred years ago there were reports of people dying within hours of becoming ill.

Journal: New England Journal Of Medicine
January 25, 2018
J.C. Kwong and Others
Patients who had a positive laboratory test for influenza were six times as likely to be hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction during the 7 days after specimen collection (the “risk interval”) as during the year before and the year after the risk interval.

Rob Stein
The flu is hitting the 65-and-over age group hardest, but the next-hardest hit is the 50-to-64 age group. Usually, children are the second-hardest hit. The reason is unclear. Jernigan says it may be because the strains of the flu to which baby boomers were exposed when they were young are different from the strains circulating this year, so they have less immunity.

CDC: Flu hospitalizations, deaths high; vaccination still urged
January 26, 2018
Influenza-related deaths this season have remained elevated for weeks, and hospitalization rates are comparable to the severe 2014-2015 influenza…

American Thinker
January 28, 2018
By Rick Moran
“We often see different parts of the country light up at different times, but for the past three weeks the entire country has been experiencing lots of flu, all at the same time,” he said, adding: “We have several weeks to go.”

NBC News
Virus looks like flu, acts like flu, but it's not influenza
by Maggie Fox
There’s another virus out there that could be adding to the seasonal misery, but it’s not being identified. The virus is called adenovirus, and it can cause very severe flu-like symptoms. It’s so risky that the U.S. military vaccinates recruits against two major strains.

In The News
England could become first country to eradicate Hepatitis C in 2025
Jan 29, 2018
NHS leaders today called on the pharmaceutical industry to work with them to provide best value for money for treatments so that in its 70th year, the NHS can commit to eliminating Hepatitis C in England at least five years earlier than the World Health Organisation goal of 2030.

Read today's news or check out the latest issue of Weekly Bull.

CDEC Recommends MAVIRET™ and VOSEVI™ for Reimbursement for Chronic HCV
January 27, 2018
On January 25, 2018 the federal CADTH Canadian Drug Expert Committee (CDEC) released its extensive reviews of two new "pan-genotypic" hepatitis C treatments: Maviret™ (AbbVie) and Vosevi™ (Gilead). In both cases, the drugs were recommended for reimbursement by provincial PharmaCares for "adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 infection with or without compensated cirrhosis." And, for both, reimburseme...

New Online
Medscape: CME Video
Treating Genotype 1-6
HCV Treatment: Incorporating Glecaprevir/Pibrentasvir and sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir/Voxilaprevir Into Clinical Practice
This 15-minute activity features a brief video introduction by faculty expert Dr. Muir in which he discusses how the new combination therapies glecaprevir/pibrentasvir and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir have changed the treatment landscape. The activity then continues with a text-based review of the recent advances in direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the clinical trials that led to the approval of these new agents.
Free registration is required 

Journal Updates
Journal: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Hepatitis C virus re-treatment in the era of direct-acting antivirals: projections in the USA
The introduction of oral direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) has dramatically changed the landscape of HCV treatment. However, a small percentage of patients fail to achieve sustained virologic response (SVR). Understanding the number of people who fail on DAAs and require re-treatment is important for budget impact and disease burden projections.

Journal: World Journal of Gastroenterology                   
This review addresses general aspects of vitamin D deficiency and, in particular, the significance of vitamin D hypovitaminosis in the outcome of HBV- and HCV-related chronic liver diseases. Furthermore, current literature was reviewed in order to understand the effects of vitamin D supplementation in combination with IFN-based therapy on the virological response in HBV and HCV infected patients.

Journal: World Journal of Hepatology
Efficacy of direct-acting antiviral treatment for chronic hepatitis C: A single hospital experience
Direct-acting antivirals have been approved for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 and 2 infections in Japan since 2011. In the new era of DAA therapy, predictors who fail to respond to DAA might be compromised by resistance-associated substitutions. There have been few reports of daclatasvir/asunaprevir failure because daclatasvir/asunaprevir is limited in Japan. Therefore, it might be important to report these cases for future research and treatment of HCV.

The following articles downloaded and shared by @HenryEChang via Twitter

Journal: Liver International
NVHR and the Center for Health Law Policy and Innovation at Harvard Law co-hosted this webinar on highlights from the "Hepatitis C: State of Medicaid Access" report, including methodology and key findings.

Contagion Live
Hepatitis C-Related Hospitalizations Rise By Almost 50%
The new report found that the number of inpatient hospital stays for patients seeking treatment solely for hepatitis C rose by nearly 49% from 2005 to 2014. In addition, hospital stays for hepatitis C patients also seeking treatment for hepatitis B, HIV, or alcoholic liver disease rose by about 11%. Overall, adults ages 52 to 72 years saw a more than 67% increase in hepatitis C-related hospitalizations –the most of any age group –while those ages 18 to 51 years saw a nearly 15% decrease in hospitalizations. Hospital stays involving hepatitis C were also longer, more expensive, and more likely to result in death than stays that did not involve hepatitis C.

By Kimberly Morgan Bossley - January 26, 2018
After curing hep C in 2014 many things changed in my life. I sold off half of my company and took the other with me and put in my home. After bringing the...

Getting Dumped with Hepatitis C 
By Karen Hoyt - January 25, 2018
After years of living with hepatitis C, I was very sick. My husband gave up on my low-energy self. He was about done with having a brain foggy wife. Within months of...

By Daryl Luster - January 24, 2018
It has become evident to me that there are people who are treating their hep C with drugs that they purchase from countries where generic drugs are produced. These drugs are produced... 

HEP Blog
The Fire and Fury of Hep C 
January 26, 2018 
Growing up with Hep C colors the world very differently. Because I knew early, I avoided alcohol from the get-go. I’d like to think it allowed my liver to keep going to thirty. My biggest fear wasn’t dying, but accidentally infecting someone else. Over time I found my paranoia getting the better of me. I abhorred physical contact, because it added to the layered stress of social interaction. Having notified the school of my condition I was kept out of PE. I wasn’t shy about the topic, and the stigma merely fueled my rebellious teenage self. I clung to that rage, it felt justified, but often when we’re young we misidentify the real emotions at play.

By Karen Hoyt
A glimpse at an easily overlooked tool for healing.

Hepatitis C Reactivation: What It Is and What It Isn’t 
By Lucinda K. Porter, RN
Hepatitis C reactivation may occur in people receiving cancer treatment. However, hep C reactivation may not mean what you think it does.

By Greg Jefferys
In Ireland, the rate of Hepatitis C infection is one of the highest in the EU at about twice the international average.
Jennifer Variste, MD
January 27, 2018 
So you heard the flu shot is 10 percent effective. With so many sources of information available, the primary care provider’s role increasingly becomes that of educator. It is important to me that the parents of my patients make informed decisions, so when I have a parent decline the influenza vaccine, I make an effort to ask why. The number one response I hear has been “What’s the point? The flu ...

Hepatitis B Foundation
Timothy Block, PhD
Welcome to Journey to the Cure. This is a web series that chronicles the progress at the Hepatitis B Foundation and Baruch S. Blumberg Institute towards finding the cure for hepatitis B.

Healthy You
Why herbal supplements taken with prescription drugs may be risky

Recommended Reading
Herbal Supplements May Be Dangerous When You Take Certain Prescription Drugs
By Amanda MacMillan
January 24, 2018 
A number of common herbal supplements, including green tea and Ginkgo biloba, can interact with prescription medications, according to a new research review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. These interactions can make drugs less effective—and may even be dangerous or deadly. 
The new review analyzed 49 case reports of adverse drug reactions, along with two observational studies. Most people in the analysis were being treated for heart disease, cancer or kidney transplants, and were taking warfarin, statins, chemotherapy drugs or immunosuppressants. Some also had depression, anxiety or neurological disorders, and were being treated with antidepressant, antipsychotic or anticonvulsant medications.
Continue reading:

Medical News Today
What to eat if you have hepatitis C
Last reviewed Thu 25 January 2018
By Tom Seymour
Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C
Hepatitis C can damage the liver and lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. Damage to the liver may mean that a person needs to modify their diet.

May we all remain healthy this flu season.

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