This health video focuses on the Vaccine available to protect against hepatitis C.
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Jennifer Matthews: It's been called the silent epidemic. Four-million Americans now live with it. And there's no cure. Kathie Bryson is one of the victims. She has hepatitis C. She got it through a needle she touched while working as a nurse. Kathie Bryson: The first thing out of my mouth was, I didn't do anything wrong. I was terrified because I knew that hepatitis C was pretty much a killer. Jennifer Matthews: Kathie also developed liver cancer. After surgery and four months of chemo, she's just happy to be alive. Kathie Bryson: Well, I kind of laugh that every day if I wake up, and I'm not feeling good, I know I'm still here. I say if I wake up one day and I feel great, then I'll know I've died. Jennifer Matthews: Hepatitis C is a contagious virus that travels through the bloodstream and infects the liver. Now, researchers at Saint Louis University are testing the first vaccine in humans to prevent hepatitis C. Sharon Frey: This is an infection that causes very bad disease. If we can find something to prevent people from becoming infected, that would be a great thing. Jennifer Matthews: In the study, 60 patients received four different doses of the vaccine. All the patients produced antibodies that researchers believe could protect them from the virus. Sharon Frey: If a vaccine can develop those responses, hopefully then it will protect the person from becoming infected or developing disease. Jennifer Matthews: Kathie hopes it will. Kathie Bryson: It would be incredible. It would be a blessing. I just hope that I live long enough to see it. Jennifer Matthews: So far, she's beaten the odds and hopes others will get a chance to do the same. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.