All you need to know about Hepatitis C
July 28, 2020
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the main causes of chronic liver disease worldwide.
There are approximately 71 million chronically infected individuals worldwide. Most importantly, many of them are unaware of their infection, with important variations according to the geographical area.
How Do You Get Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C spreads when blood contaminated with the hepatitis C virus gets into your bloodstream through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person.
You can be exposed to the virus from:
- Sharing injection drugs and needles
- Having sex, especially if you have an STD, an HIV infection, several partners, or have rough sex
- Being stuck by infected needles
- Birth — a mother can pass it to a child
- Sharing personal care items like toothbrushes, razor blades, and nail clippers
- Getting a tattoo or piercing with unclean equipment
What can hepatitis C cause to the liver
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by an infection with hepatitis C virus. It causes an inflammation in the liver and if undetected can lead to chronic infection which causes liver cell death- leading to Liver cirrhosis and liver cancer and extra hepatic complications which can be life-threatening.
Hepatitis C infection like hepatitis B does not cause any symptoms in most people. 9 out of 10 people who are infected by these viruses do not know about it and seek medical attention only when patient presents with signs of liver cell failure.
The most common symptoms of hepatitis C are
- Fatigue/ weakness
- Jaundice- yellow skin and eyes
- Dark urine
- Pale stool
- Nausea / vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the abdomen
Presently there no vaccine available for hepatitis C.
However the current medications aimed against hepatitis C virus are very efficacious.
If hepatitis C is not treated early, complications may lead to liver cell failure and might require a liver transplantation.