OKWatch Radio: Hepatitis C Cases Surge Across State

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Brian A. Hopkins/Oklahoma Watch

Engineer and author Brian A. Hopkins battled hepatitis C, which he contracted more than two decades ago in blood transfusions after a motorcycle wreck.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health Department reports the number of people with new cases of hepatitis C is on the rise again.

Figures show there were 45 known acute, or short-term, cases of the contagious liver disease in 2014, up about 13 percent from 2013. But there are strong indications hepatitis C is far more prevalent than the numbers indicate, and the state has one of the highest rates of acute hep C in the nation. Thousands of others are infected but don’t know it.

Oklahomans are paying a price for it through higher insurance rates because of high costs of medication. Brad Gibson of Oklahoma Watch reports.



Graphic by Nate Robson.

  • The interview (my part of it anyway) stops short of concluding that in 2010, I did finish the year-long Interferon/Ribavirin treatment … and it didn’t work. The success rate for that treatment is only about 30%. Sovaldi came along, but it’s taken in conjunction with the Interferon and Ribavirin. I said, “No thanks.” However, hot on Sovaldi’s heels came the latest drug, touted as a virtual cure (85-90% success rate): Harvoni (from Gilead, the same drug company that came out with Sovaldi). I completed the Harvoni treatment on Sep 31st. Next month, I’ll undergo some tests to determine if it worked. Those with an interest can follow me on Facebook (where I have an extensive journal about all this, written by my dog — ha!) via the link available on my website: http://bahwolf.com

    Thanks for the interview.

  • Theresa Mennecke

    Most teachers would love to make $44,000! Most make 32-35 thousand. That 44 number must be an average. Administrators do pretty good and coach/teacher, but still not up to other states.