‘Silent Killer’ Warning as People Still Diagnosed with ‘Bad Blood’ Decades Later

A leading charity has called for a campaign to identify undiagnosed people infected with “bad blood”. The Hepatitis C Trust has urged anyone who received a blood transfusion before 1991 to get checked for the condition.

It comes as the charity warns people are still being diagnosed with a ‘silent killer’ infection following the tainted blood scandal.

The Hepatitis C Trust revealed that around two people are diagnosed with the infection every month, after receiving a blood transfusion in the 1970s, 1980s or early 1990s following an accident, surgery or during childbirth .

Many of these people may have experienced ‘vague’ symptoms which could have caused GPs to overlook their infection. The charity warned that late diagnoses can lead to irreversible liver damage.

The public inquiry into the tainted blood scandal, described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, is due to publish its final report on May 20.

Tens of thousands of people have been infected with hepatitis or HIV after receiving infected blood or blood products. As a result, at least 3,000 people have died and a significant number are living with long-term health problems.

Samantha May, who runs the Hepatitis C Trust helpline, told the PA news agency that the oldest person she helped was 89 and had received a blood transfusion in the early 1970s.

The youngest, aged around 30, received a transfusion of infected blood in the early 1990s.