FRIDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- The OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test to detect antibodies from the hepatitis C virus has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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The blood diagnostic is a test strip that does not require an additional device to obtain results in about 20 minutes, the agency said in a news release.
HCV is commonly transmitted through shared use of an intravenous drug needle or from an infected mother to her child. Initially it can cause inflammation of the liver and may progress to liver disease or liver cancer.
Some 3.2 million people in the United States are chronically infected with the virus, and some 17,000 new infections are reported each year, government statistics show.
The OraQuick test is produced by OraSure Technologies, based in Bethlehem, Penn.
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