Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is spread through exposure to blood, often as a result of injection use. Per CDC, the cases of hepatitis C are increasing dramatically in the United States, particularly among younger adults. In fact, younger adults 20-39 years old have the highest rates of new hepatitis C cases. Many people that develop HCV have no idea that they are infected and can live with chronic HCV for years until there is enough liver damage to make them symptomatic. The symptoms include fever, fatigue, dark urine, clay-colored stool, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, joint pain, and jaundice. There are many different HCV genotypes. Worldwide, there are seven distinct genotypes and more than 67 subtypes. Per CDC, in the United States, the most common HCV genotypes are 1a, 1b, 2, and 3.
Detection of HCV is vital to early and effective treatment. Over half of all HCV infections become long term chronic infections. Once detected, most infections can be treated in 8 to 12 weeks. CDC now recommends testing every adult at least once, pregnant women during pregnancy, and everyone with ongoing risk factors regularly. At Solaris, we offer HCV antibody test and RT-PCR assays for in vitro detection and quantification of Hepatitis C RNA virus (HCV) in serum specimens which can then be used to monitor treatment of infected patients. Solaris diagnostics can provide a result of HCV antibody and HCV detection and quantification (viral load) with a turnaround time (TAT) of 24-48 hours from the time the sample is received in the laboratory. We can provide fast and definitive results leading to effective treatments of Hepatitis C infections.