Viral Hepatitis: Hepatitis G: The New Virus on the Block

Hepatitis G: The New Virus on the Block

Hepatitis G is transmitted by blood-borne routes and was just discovered in 1995. Risk groups include intravenous drug users, hemodialysis patients, and transfusion recipients. Acute infection is diagnosed by antibody tests or by molecular techniques like PCR that detect the presence of RNA from the virus.

People can remain infected for many years. The first major study of virus has reported that those infected by means other than blood transfusions did not develop chronic liver disease. Because it was only identified recently, it isn't clear at this time how widespread hepatitis G is and what its precise effects are on infected patients.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dangerous Diseases and Epidemics © 2002 by David Perlin, Ph.D., and Ann Cohen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.