A number of Irish people who availed of cheap dental treatment abroad ended up being infected with the potentially lethal virus, hepatitis C, a leading specialist has revealed.
Prof Suzanne Norris, a consultant hepatologist at St James's hospital, said she had treated patients who had become infected with contaminated instruments while having dental work in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and South Africa.
Prof Norris is heading a campaign to highlight how an estimated 38,000 people in Ireland have hepatitis C but are unaware they are infected.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that can infect and damage the liver. An infected person can have no noticeable symptoms for many years.