§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people in Wales are currently suffering from hepatitis C; and of these, how many have contracted the condition as a consequence of receiving contaminated blood products in the course of NHS treatment. 
Mr. Jon Owen Jones
It is not known how many people in Wales are currently suffering from hepatitis C. However, data are available on newly diagnosed cases reported from laboratories although cases may not be identified until years after the infection is acquired. 1,030 newly identified cases of hepatitis C were reported to Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre Wales (CDSC) from laboratories in Wales between 1995 and 1997. Of these 28 were reported where blood transfusion or blood product receipt was a possible risk factor (although other risk factors may have also been present). The Haemophilia Society reports that there are 105 people infected with hepatitis C through their National Health Service treatment with blood products. A number of NHS patients other than haemophiliacs will have acquired hepatitis C infection.
Following the transfer of functions, this issue will be a matter for the National Assembly.