Today in the House of Commons, Michael McLeod rose to speak about the importance of testing for Hepatitis C.
Mr. Speaker, Hepatitis C is a very contagious viral infection that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong liver disease. The NWT has one of the highest rates of Hepatitis C in Canada.
About 250, 000 people are infected with the virus in Canada, but most are unaware they are infected. Many patients do not experience any symptoms until their liver becomes so damaged that they develop cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure.
I encourage the development of a National Hepatitis C Strategy that includes voluntary testing for everyone born from 1945 through 1965, who make up the majority cases in Canada, as recommended by the Centre for Disease Control. Like many diseases, if caught early, there are much better outcomes for patients.
If we work together, we can limit the impact of this virus and protect the health of all Canadians.