Opioids, Hepatitis C and kids

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A new combination drug is now helping the littlest victims of the opioid epidemic fight back.

11-year-old Talon Hendrickson-Zimmerman plays without a care these days, since his Hepatitis C is gone. He no longer has to pack gloves, in case he gets hurt. 

Talon says, "If they needed to help me, they would have to wear them, because they couldn't touch my blood cause I had Hepatitis C."

Talon got Hepatitis C from his birth mom, who used intravenous drugs. He was diagnosed at two. His first treatment, interferon, made him terribly sick. Last year he entered a clinical trial for harvoni, made of two anti-viral drugs. Talon's adoptive mom, Lisa Mills, says his viral load dropped from 1.2 million to 20 in a week. Then his doctor brought this news...

Lisa says, "When she came in to the room and told us after two weeks on this medication, he is cured, I mean you just literally cried. We cried." 

Dr. Karen Murray at Seattle Children's Hospital says harvoni was approved for adults and older kids. As soon as she could, she got Talon in a trial for younger children. He took two pills a day for three months with no side effects.

Dr. Murray says, "The efficacy of the treatment is truly astounding. 98 plus percent in his age group."

Talon will be monitored for five years.

Lisa says, "He doesn't have to worry about going through liver transplants, infecting other people. He can play basketball, he can have a nosebleed." 

Just like a normal kid. Because of responses like Talon's, harvoni was approved for clinical trials in younger kids. It's now in trial for children as young as three. 

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