Hepatitis in Prison

Team: 1010

School: Gadsden Mid

Area of Science: Biology

Proposal: Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation,
sometimes leading to serious liver damage. The hepatitis C virus
(HCV) spreads through contaminated blood. Still, about half of people
with HCV don't know they're infected, mainly because they have no
symptoms, which can take decades to appear.

Hepatitis C is commonly spread by:
. Sharing drug needles or accidental needle stick injuries
. Being born to a mother who has hepatitis C
. Are a health care worker who has been exposed to infected
blood, which may happen if an infected needle pierces your skin
. Have ever injected or inhaled illicit drugs have HIV
. Received a piercing or tattoo in an unclean environment using
unsterile equipment
. Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
. Received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
. Received hemodialysis treatments for a long period of time
. Were born to a woman with a hepatitis C infection
. Were ever in prison
. Were born between 1945 and 1965, the age group with the
highest incidence of hepatitis C infection

The Complications of having HCV are:
. Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). After decades of hepatitis C
infection, cirrhosis may occur. Scarring in your liver makes it
difficult for your liver to function.
. Liver cancer. A small number of people with hepatitis C infection
may develop liver cancer.
. Liver failure. Advanced cirrhosis may cause your liver to stop

The results that we expect to get are…
We will focus on a prison population. We will find out how many
cases of hepatitis c are currently in prison. We will find out the
transmission rate of the virus. We will run our experiment on a
hypothesis that what rate of people will get exposed to hepatitis c and
how many will contract it in prison compared to the public population.
We do expect that inmates in prison will have HVC more often because
of drug use and sharing needles by inmates.

How we plan to work on it is by…
We will ask a relative of a group member, who is a prison guard
in a prison in Arizona, for the total population of the prison. We’ll also
ask how many of them were diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

We will then use the city’s CDC information for how many people
are infected in the city per 100,000 population. We will then use the
same population as in the prison versus an public population to
investigate how close proximity and prison environment differ in the
transfer of Hep C.

Team Members:

  Jesus Baca
  Haleigh Garcia

Sponsoring Teacher: Danielle McFarland

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