Hepatitis C Cluster In Ward County - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Hepatitis C Cluster In Ward County

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The North Dakota Department of Health is investigating a cluster of Hepatitis C virus cases in Ward County.

The cases are considered "acute" meaning recent infections.

The three cases were identified in two woman and one man, all over the age of 60.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that targets the liver and can lead to lifelong chronic infections and can lead to serious liver damage and death.

Health official note that Hepatitis C is NOT spread easily from person to person and is not spread through the air.

It is primarily spread through direct exposure to blood.

Testing indicated that all three cases in Ward County are genetically linked, however health officials have been unable to determine how all three people were infected.

"Upon further testing we determined that these cases shared the same virus which would indicate a common source, so we're doing everything we can to look into whether or not these cases are linked and to potentially identify other people who may share the same time and space with these individuals to alert them that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis C," Lindsey VanderBusch said.

VanderBusch recommends anyone in the baby boomer age group to be tested for Hepatitis C at least once in their lifetime.

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