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Tens of thousands of Britons are unaware they have a deadly liver infection, health officials have warned today.
Public Health England fears there are almost 100,000 hepatitis C patients in the UK who have not yet been diagnosed.
Virus - Contact - Blood - Someone - Drug
The virus is spread through coming into contact with the blood of someone infected - often drug users who share needles.
If left untreated, the curable infection - which can also be spread through sharing toothbrushes - can lead to liver cancer or failure.
PHE - Anyone - Risk
PHE is now urging anyone who believes they may have been at risk to come forward and get tested.
Helen Harris, a senior scientist at the Government-run body, said it is 'so important to find and treat those who may be infected'.
C - Consequences - Cases - Time
She added: 'Hepatitis C can have devastating consequences but most cases can be cured if detected in time.
'Anyone who may be at risk of infection, in particular those who have ever injected drugs, even if they injected only once or in the past, should get tested.
Treatments - Cure - Cent - Time - Tested
'Given that new treatments provide a cure in around 95 per cent of those who take them, there has never been a better time to get tested.'
Estimates suggest around 143,000 people in the UK had hepatitis C in 2018, of which two thirds are unaware they have it.
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