LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new study shows that one in four Skid Row residents in downtown Los Angeles is infected with hepatitis C, more than 10 times the rate of the general population.

The research, published Monday in the July-August issue of Public Health Reports, found that nearly half of those infected did not know they had the disease, which is spread by contact with contaminated blood.

Study leader Lillian Gelberg of the University of California, Los Angeles, warns that the high prevalence of the disease will result in escalating public health costs as many subjects are entering end-stage liver breakdown.

The study comes on the heels of last month’s county health inspection that found Skid Row residents to be living on streets strewn with feces and hypodermic needles.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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