Get tested for Hepatitis C:

  • When: 27th Arpil 2023 between 10am and 3pm
  • Where: Car park of Sainsburys, Penrith

More dates and locations to be confimed.

Nurses are touring the county this year to encourage you to know your Hepatitis C status. Being treated sooner can help prevent against further health conditions.Melissa bus.PNG

The Viral Hepatitis team are bringing a specialist double decker NHS bus to the car park at Sainsburys, Penrith for the first event on Thursday 27th April between 10am and 3pm. Anybody who is worried and would to check their status is encouraged to go and take the simple blood test and as a bonus receive a £5 Greggs voucher in return.

Helen McConnell, Hepatitis C Associate for the nursing team at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and said:

“Hepatitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the liver and there are many causes including inherited liver disease, environmental liver disease (Alcohol and Fatty liver) and autoimmune system. Viral Hepatitis is caused by contracting a virus”Helen and Angela.jpg

“We are trying to get more people tested because many do not realise they have been at risk or are infected. You can get infected by sharing a toothbrush, Razor, Vape or having unprotected sex. The more people we can test the more we can treat and prevent further health problems such as liver failure, cirrhosis (liver scarring) and liver cancer.”

Hepatitis C often does not have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged.

This means many people have the infection without realising it.

Hepatitis C is treatable – Treatment is provided by the Viral Hepatitis Service run by North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust. Treatment is well tolerated and usually 1 tablet a day for 8-12 weeks

Are you at risk of contracting Hepatitis C? You may be at risk if you:

  • Had a blood transfusion or blood products prior to 1991 in the UK
  • Had a tattoo or body piercing abroad
  • snorted or injected drugs (including steroids) – even if it was only once
  • are born in or had a medical procedure in an area which has a higher prevalence of blood borne viruses (Such as Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa)
  • have had unprotected sex with anyone who is known to have HIV, Hepatitis B or C.
  • have had any other blood to blood contact such as sharing razors or toothbrushes

When symptoms do occur, they can be mistaken for another condition. If symptoms do develop, they usually occur a few weeks after infection.

Symptoms may include:

  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • tummy (abdominal) pains
  • feeling and being sick

The only way to know for certain if you have hepatitis C is to get tested. The test involves a quick finger prick test and our staff will be able to give you expert confidential advice there and then if you have the virus.

Helen added: “15% of people will fight off the infection post exposure and be free of the virus. The remaining cases, 85%, it will stay in the body causing liver damage. Although there's currently no vaccine available, Chronic Hepatitis C can be treated with very effective antiviral medications”

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has committed eradicating Hepatitis C by 2030 so by testing (and treating) as many people as possible, we can make this happen.”

The team will be visiting a different location each month up until World Hepatitis Day on Friday 28th July:

  • May – Wigton
  • June – Keswick
  • July – Penrith
  • July – Carlisle
  • July – Workington or Whitehaven

Exact details will be confirmed on North Cumbria Integrated Care’s Facebook page and website.