Hepatitis C, risk factors, transmission, symptoms and treatment

Hepatitis C is a disease that causes inflammation and infection of the liver. This condition develops after being infected with the hepatitis c virus (HCV).  Hepatitis C can be either acute or chronic.

Hepatitis C is a liver infection that can lead to serious liver damage. The virus spreads through an infected person’s blood or body fluids.

Unlike hepatitis A and B, there’s no vaccine for hepatitis C, although efforts to create one continue.

 

Risk factors of Hepatitis C

  • If you received blood from a donor who had the disease.
  • If you have ever injected or inhaled drugs.
  • Had a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before July 1995.
  • Received a blood product used to treat clotting problems before 1987.
  • Had been on long term kidney dialysis.
  • Have HIV.
  • Were born to a mother with hepatitis C.
  • Have symptoms of liver disease.

 

Transmission

Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood to blood contact with someone infected with HCV.

It can spread though –

  • Organ transplants
  • Blood transfusions
  • Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes.
  • Sharing needles
  • Sexual contact if blood is exchanged.

 

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

 

Incubation period of Hepatitis C

It can last anywhere from 14 to 80 days, but the average is 45 days.

 

Acute Hepatitis C

This is a short term illness that lasts for the first 6 months after the virus enters your body.

 

Chronic Hepatitis C

If your body doesn’t clear the virus on its own after 6 months, it becomes a long term infection.

This can lead to serious health problems like liver cancer or cirrhosis.

 

Treatment of Hepatitis C

Not everyone infected with Hepatitis C will need treatment. For some people, their immune systems may be able to fight the infection well enough to clear the infection from their bodies.

 

If you have acute Hepatitis C, ther is no recommended treatment. If your Hepatitis C turns into a chronic Hepatitis C infection, there are several medications available.

 

 

 

Leave a Comment