Many people are still being diagnosed with ‘silent killer’ hepatitis C after tainted blood scandal, charity warns

People are still being diagnosed with hepatitis C every month following the tainted blood scandal, a charity has said.

The Hepatitis C Trust has urged anyone who received a blood transfusion before 1991 to get checked for hepatitis C, warning that late diagnoses can lead to irreparable liver damage and many will have had “vague” symptoms, meaning that GPs may not have realized they were infected.

Samantha May, who runs her helpline, said many people who have suffered from the condition for decades have visited their doctors with a range of symptoms, but it is only when serious problems arise that they are diagnosed.

Tens of thousands of people became infected with hepatitis or HIV after receiving infected blood or blood products in the 1970s, 1980s or early 1990s, following accidents, operations or during childbirth.

At least 3,000 people have died and the public inquiry into the scandal is due to publish its final report on May 20.

Before that, former pupils of a special school where boys with haemophilia were given tainted blood in the 1970s and 1980s met Cabinet minister John Glen.

Gary Webster, Steve Nicholls, Adrian Goodyear and Richard Warwick, who attended Lord Mayor Treloar College, said those affected by the scandal should be given lifelong financial help, as victims of the thalidomide scandal had been promised in 2021 by then Chancellor Rishi. Sunak.

A government spokesperson said: “We are clear that justice must be done and quickly, which is why we have acted by amending the Victims and Prisoners Bill. »