Officials knew of hepatitis infections from tainted blood

LONDON – Officials at the UK Department of Health knew that people were falling ill with hepatitis from contaminated blood products in the early 1970s but allowed the infected treatments to remain in use, documents have suggested.

In the 1970s and 1980s thousands of haemophiliacs were infected with hepatitis, HIV or both through contaminated Factor VIII, a drug that provides haemophiliacs with the protein they are missing, which helps blood to clot.

Survivors and bereaved families have demanded to know what health officials knew about the risk of infection.

A number of files relating to the government’s response have gone missing campaigners found.

Eleanor Grey, QC, acting for the Department of Health, said that this showed there had been “at worst a cover-up, at best a lack of candour about past events”.

Read more of The Times story by Kaya Burgess:

Officials ‘knew of hepatitis infections from tainted blood’

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