AUSTIN — A Texas state health official is warning residents that they should not wait too long before they get tested for hepatitis C and other communicable diseases, citing a new study that shows people can get a negative result even if they have a blood test.
Dr. Michael Davenport, chief medical officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said Friday that more than 3,000 people in the state were tested between Sept. 1 and Sept. 10, and 1,065 of them tested positive.
“The public should be tested regardless of their state of health, but if they do not have a positive test result, they should go to a health care provider and they should contact their local health department,” Davenout said.
Davenport said people who test positive should contact a health provider for a hepatitis C test and should not use the information about the positive test to determine how long they should wait before testing.”
This new study suggests that you should take this information seriously and should be prepared to get a test.”
Davenport said people who test positive should contact a health provider for a hepatitis C test and should not use the information about the positive test to determine how long they should wait before testing.
The results of the study have been released to the public by the Texas Health Resources Center.
It shows that people in counties where more people have been tested, like Dallas, should wait for more than three weeks to get their test results, Davenover said.
People should also avoid being in close proximity to anyone who is infected with hepatitis C or HIV.
In Dallas, there were more than 400 cases of hepatitis C in the county in October and November, compared to only 22 in January and February, according to data from the Dallas Health Department.
In the first quarter of 2018, there was an average of 1,400 new cases of the virus per month in Dallas, compared with an average weekly total of 824.
Davenover did not have any other data on the impact of the new study.