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MP McLeod calling for national Hepatitis C strategy, testing

Northwest Territories MP Michael McLeod is calling on the federal government to develop a national Hepatitis C strategy, warning that the NWT has one of the highest rates of the virus in the country.

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McLeod made the request for a national strategy in the House of Commons Monday.

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“About 250,000 people are infected with the virus in Canada, but most are unaware they are infected,” he said.

“Many patients do not experience any symptoms until their liver becomes so damaged that they develop cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure.”

The strategy, he says, would include voluntary testing for baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965, as that demographic makes up the majority of cases in Canada.

“Like many diseases, if caught early, there are much better outcomes for patients,” he said.

“If we work together, we can limit the impact of this virus and protect the health of all Canadians.”

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