Public health-primary care testing has high uptake, doesn't identify hidden Hepatitis C

January 09, 2018

A strategy to test the general population for hepatitis B and C viruses in areas of high prevalence had high test uptake but did not detect hidden chronic hepatitis C infections. The study, a public health-primary care collaboration, sought to test individuals between 40 and 70 years of age (n=6,743) in two Dutch hepatitis hotspots. All family physicians in the hotspots invited their patients to be tested, with implementation and follow-up by the regional public health service. Test uptake was higher than expected at 51 percent (n=3,434), however no active/chronic hepatitis C infections were detected. This strategy, the authors surmise, could be effective in countries with higher rates of hepatitis or other infectious diseases, but is not recommended for low prevalence countries.
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Detecting Hepatitis B and C by Combined Public Health and Primary Care Birth Cohort Testing
Jeanne Heil, MSc, et al
Public Health Service and Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands
http://www.annfammed.org/content/16/1/21

American Academy of Family Physicians

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