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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blood tests can reveal a person's history of viral infection

Every virus that has made people sick now can be detected through a drop of blood. A new test can tell doctors about a person's history of viral infection, something that can prevent the occurrence of serious diseases in the future.
A patient's finger is pricked for a blood test. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1JxNNtv)
The new blood test called 'VirScan' has the potential to detect more than 1,000 types of viruses that can infect humans. According to Stephen Elledge, principal investigator of Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, said that the genetic tests, which only require a drop of blood, can show to the doctors whether patients are exposed to a dangerous virus.

For example, people can be infected with hepatitis C for many years that can destroy the liver, and leading to cancer.

"The types of infection with this virus, like HIV, can occur long before a patient feels there is a problem," said Elledge. "And at that moment, it would be much more dangerous."

Now, there is the treatment for hepatitis and life-saving therapy for HIV. By knowing whether someone is infected with a dangerous virus for many years before, said Elledge, a doctor can treat it early.

Elledge said that the VirScan allowed to see the health impact of the combined viruses. In addition, VirScan also be used to determine the root of the more difficult conditions, such as viruses which trigger autoimmunity diseases such as diabetes and lupus. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | VOA NEWS]
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