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Natalie Cole's Hepatitis C: FAQ

Questions and Answers About Natalie Cole's Hepatitis C and 'Chemotherapy'

How long does treatment take?

That depends on the strain, or genotype, of the virus. Those genotypes vary around the world. The most common genotype in the U.S. takes 48 weeks to treat, says Bacon.

Can hepatitis C be cured?

The combination of peginterferon and ribavirin cures hepatitis C in 50% to 60% of cases, according to Bacon. He predicts that the protease inhibitors that are being developed will boost the cure rate to 70% to 80%.

"So often people say, 'Oh, there's no cure; I'm not going to do anything about it.' But there is a cure. You can have the virus eradicated up to 50%-60% of the time," says Bacon.

 

What about a hepatitis C vaccine?

There isn't one. "The virus changes very quickly," making it very hard to create a vaccine, notes Bacon.

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