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When was Hep C first discovered
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When was Hep C first discovered

After reading Upbeats post about her spending hundreds of hours with Nam patients who had Hep-C I went on line to the Hep C Primer to learn that Hep C Virus was first identified and described in 1987 and not until 1990 did an
anti HCV test become available.  I am very familiar with the VA hospital and unless you are in end stage or on a PTSD or Narcotic or alcohol abuse ward, or Trauma , geriatric ward Hep C patients are treated as out patients.  My question is Is the Hep C Primer correct?
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Avatar_m_tn
There was a military report to congress in 1999 about hep C in the Military.  Look it up its interesting reading.  What they did was go back to the Korean war and get the frozen blood of 8000 recruits then Identified the ones who had hep c. Then they looked up these people to see how they did with the virus after 45 years.  Google 1999 military report to conress hep c.  I suspect the virus has been around for decades if not centuries.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Frank,

Your source roughly agrees with Janis and Friends:


"Scientists developed blood tests to identify hepatitis B (1963) and hepatitis A (1973), but many of the blood samples taken for post-transfusion illness tested negative for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

Given that the mode of transmission (blood transfusion) was the same, scientists classified the unidentified cases as non-A, non-B hepatitis. It is now believed that approximately 90-95% of cases previously classified as non-A, non-B were actually hepatitis C.

In the 1980's, investigators from the Centers for Disease Control (headed up by Daniel W. Bradley) and Chiron (Michael Houghton) identified the virus. In 1990, blood banks began screening blood donors for hepatitis C, but it wasn't until 1992 that a blood test was perfected that effectively eliminated blood transfusion supply."

Also from this link, in terms of how long it's been around:

"It is impossible to really know the origins of hepatitis C since there are no stored blood samples to test for the virus that are older than 50 years. However, given the nature of the evolution of all viruses, hepatitis C has probably been around for hundreds of thousands of years or more before evolving into the current strains.

Some experts speculate that since HGV/GBV-C, a close relative of HCV, originated in Old and New World primates, the beginnings of HCV might be traced back to 35 million years ago. However, this is just speculation and it is impossible to corroborate these theories at the present time. On firmer ground is the prediction that the different subtypes of HCV originated approximately 200 years ago and that the six main genotypes of HCV most likely had a common ancestor approximately 400 years ago. However, it has also been pointed out that it is difficult to limit the origin of HCV to such a short period of human history because the virus is found in remote areas all over the world. As well, the virus is mainly spread by direct blood to blood contact, making it difficult to spread and evolve rapidly—especially considering that the main transmission routes (blood product use and needle use) have only been in existence for a short period of time."

http://www.janis7hepc.com/History%20of%20HepC.htm#history%20brief
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179856_tn?1333550962
When I first met my husband he had nonA nonB there was no diagnosed HCV and that was in '87 or '88.  I can't imagine how the vets knew they had something that wasn't determined yet...

Shoot they didn't even know about HIV yet.

"As well, the virus is mainly spread by direct blood to blood contact, making it difficult to spread and evolve rapidly"

How else is it spread? Mainly? Don't eat chicken with blue algae that is how you get it?

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Hi Franke,

It sounds like you’ve uncovered the recent history of HCV, and pretty well answered your original question. This long-winded but interesting article from Simmonds discusses the history of HCV from an epidemiologist’s perspective, and is worth muddling through; I think:

http://vir.sgmjournals.org/cgi/content/full/85/11/3173

He suggests HCV genotypes perhaps diverged > 100,000 and 150,000 years ago…

Bill
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks for the clarification upbeat-I thought you posted you were spending hours with Nam vets returning from war and being treated for Hep C. on your other thread and I knew Hep C had not been  "outed" until the late eighties. I know and knew friends who had various illnesses when they came home and some didn't make it-suicide from
just feeling bad and the drs saying it's all in their heads.  Some of us were treated with quinine (spelling)-counseling etc..  Anyway I appreciate the input from everyone-Portann, Nygirl, Bill.  I just got a little freaked becauseI know Hep C is broken into geno types- I was thinking why didn't they treat me in 69? I wonder as science evolves
how deep the Hep C roots go and why some of us clear sxs, some don't some of us are cured some of us aren't. Back when I was visiting the H.L site I almost believed him when he said it was a conspiracy.  Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a Vietnam Era Veteran and was diagnosed with Hep-C in 1996.  In 1969, I was discharged from the Army and was told that my separation physical showed I had Hepatitis and they couldn't discharge me until it was cleared up.  I told them I had no symptoms of hepatitis and so they did more tests.  Four days later they told me that I didn't have Infectious or Serum hepatitis, and they didn't know what it was so they discharged me.  Twenty-seven years later in 1996 when I tried to donate blood they told me I had Hep-C.  My research showed the virus was isolated in 1989 and prior to that it was diagnosed as non-specific hepatitis.  Further research showed me that the incidence of hep-c in Vietnam Era veterans is five times higher that the rest of the population.  One of the reasons seems to be that during induction into the military we received inoculations by standing in line and getting shot with a high pressure air gun in each arm.  Sometimes the guy in front of you would bleed from the shot.  The air gun was wiped off with a clean cloth and used on the next guy.  If the first guy had hep-c, then it was actually injected into the next four or five people because it was on the tip of the gun.  The military is fighting this and saying it's not possible, but dozens of people have won suits against the military for hep-c disability and the courts are siding with the plaintiffs.  I went into the Army without hepatitis and came out with it.  Seems pretty cut and dried, but they are fighting me.  I'm trying to get military disability status because I can no longer get health or life insurance due to the Hep-C.  I currently have end stage cirrhosis and am not doing well.  I've taken all the protocols from plain Interferon to Peg-Intron over the past 12 years and none have been effective.  I have genotype 1A.  I don't smoke or drink and take a lot of anti-viral herbs, vitamins, and eat well and exercise.  I've been lucky in going 40 years and being non-symptomatic until six months ago.  One year ago I was in stage three phase three.  Then this past spring it hit me like a ton of bricks and now I've got end stage, full blown cirrhosis, with gastropathy, and other problems.  I keep a positive attitude and continue to eat well and take the anti-viral herbs, which I believe enabled me to last this long.  Good luck with yours.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your Post Veteran 1.  Yes I remember that air gun injection very well.  A few months ago on this forum it was brought up.  I remember filing into a hall and getting a number of injections and then the final one was a hand helled machine with a crank and a serum bottle on top-hurt like the dickens and everyone bled.  I was a Corpsman in Nam and  on the way there got a Tattoo on Okinawa-mistake- Because we were told not to get tats it went on my report, then in country I took a couple of rounds in thigh at the dust off platform and because my femoral artery was nicked I was transfused.  Sent home and had multiple surgeries to repair leg.  I did get a Service Connected Disability but it wasn't worth the Hep C.  When I found out I had Hep C I knew I got it while in the military and like you have been trying to get 100% but the Tattoo has been my nemisis.  I believe I likely got it from the air gun because a buddy who joined with me also has Hep C and he shined a chair in the states for 4 years, never got a tattoo, never had a transfusion, never used I.V. drugs etc..  Like you I am end stage.  I don't know why because I am UND/SVR.  My 1st Hepatologist was V.A in Houston-a jerk.  I just went along with the program.  I never cleared the Sxs and was trotted to a half dozen different doctors and diagnosed with everything from Lymes disease, to Fibromyalgia, to depression.  Then I found this forum and was advised to see a better qualified Hepatrologist.  I am Clear of the virus but liver is all but gone with fibrosis and cirrhosis from trying to repair itself.  I was told I am not a candidate for transplant by Baylor and U.T., but I have a shot at U.Va and am going there after 1st of year.  Good luck to you also!
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