What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C is a contagious disease that can range in severity and be classified as either acute or chronic. If you are diagnosed with hepatitis C, is because you are infected with the hepatitis C virus.
Acute hepatitis is a short-term illness that lasts for approximately 6 months after being exposed to the virus. Most people who start out with an acute infection will eventually get chronic hepatitis C.
Chronic hepatitis is a long-term illness that remains within the body. It can last a lifetime and lead to a variety of liver problems, including cirrhosis as well as liver cancer. Approximately 3,000,000 people in the United States suffer from a chronic hepatitis C infection. Many people have no idea that they are infected because they do not look or feel sick. This can lead to more infections because people are not aware of the infection.
Hepatitis C is spread via blood. The most common way of being infected is by sharing needles, as well as other equipment that is used to inject drugs. Prior to screening blood supply, hepatitis C was also spread via blood transfusions and even organ transplants, but this is no longer such a concern. People who share needles and syringes are more likely to become infected with hepatitis C as well as needle stick injuries within a healthcare setting. If someone is born to a mother with hepatitis C, there is a significant likelihood that they will have hepatitis C as well. In less common instances, a person may also be infected by sharing personal care items, such as razors and toothbrushes. It is also possible to be infected with the hepatitis C virus through sexual contact. This likelihood is very low, however.
There is a long list of people who are at risk for hepatitis C. This includes people who are injection drug users, recipients of donated blood prior to 1992, hemodialysis patients, people who have received tattoos or body piercings using nonsterile instruments, healthcare workers that of been injured by needle sticks, HIV-infected people, as well as children born to mothers with the virus.
It is important for everyone to know about the ways that hepatitis C can be spread to help test for it on a regular basis. If you know that you have hepatitis C, it is something that you will need to report and something that you will need to proceed with caution, particularly if you cut yourself and your blood is exposed to others.
Since hepatitis directly affects the liver, many people will go on to develop chronic liver disease, develop cirrhosis, and potentially liver cancer. This means that a person will need to actively seek treatment once they have developed hepatitis C.
How Does Hepatitis C Compare to A and B?
Hepatitis simply means that there is an inflammation of the liver. There are three different types of hepatitis, which are labeled as A, B, and C. The reason that they are labeled differently is because they are caused by three different types of viruses. Each can result in similar symptoms, but have different transmission modes and can affect the liver differently.
Hepatitis A only appears as acute and will not become chronic. Even without treatment, a person can improve from hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B is an acute infection, but will likely remain in the body. It can result in various chronic diseases, including long-term liver problems.
Hepatitis C is the most contagious and the most severe. People will start with acute virus infections and then proceed into a chronic version. There is no vaccination to prevent hepatitis C, though there are ways to prevent exposure as well as to prevent the spread of hepatitis to others.
There are vaccinations available for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Everyone is urged to get these vaccinations as a way of preventing exposure and improving the overall odds of not being exposed to hepatitis or getting the viral infection.
Most people will not experience any kind of symptoms for hepatitis A, B, or C. There is also an incubation period between the time of exposure, and the onset of the illness, which can make it hard to detect the presence of the virus as well as the cause.
If you suspect that you have been exposed to hepatitis, you are likely going to experience flulike symptoms. This may include weakness, fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and an ache within the abdomen. Some of the less likely symptoms that you may experience include light-colored stools, jaundice, and dark urine.
The best thing that you can do is speak to a doctor to find out whether you have hepatitis or not so that you can take the necessary precautions. There are various tests that can be done so that a doctor cannot only diagnose you with hepatitis, but also determine what strain you have so that some level of treatment can begin.
The most common types of testing that will be conducted for viral hepatitis include blood tests, which look for liver enzymes and viral genetic materials, as well as other tests that may mimic viral hepatitis. This includes checking for wild duct obstruction, gallstones, as well as conducting ultrasounds to rule out the presence of gallstones or cancer.
Understanding the different types of hepatitis can make it easier for you to determine what kind of caution you need to take as well is the type of treatment that you need if you are ever diagnosed with viral hepatitis of any kind.
Is Hepatitis C Contagious and is there a Cure?
Hepatitis C is contagious, but it is only contagious through blood. This means that if you have hepatitis C, you need to make sure that you are not sharing blood with anyone. Understanding the various treatment methods will also be of use to you, and that your can vary from person to person.
The most common way that hepatitis C is spread is through the use of sharing needles involved with drug injections. There are various other ways that the virus can spread as well, including blood transfusions, nonsterile needles for piercing and tattoos, and more. In some very rare instances, hepatitis C has also been spread through sexual contact.
There is a myth that there is cure for hepatitis C. This is not accurate. Doctors have been curing hepatitis C since the early 1990s. Now, more people can be cured as a result of new technology as well as medical breakthroughs.
A “cure” is defined as ridding the body of hepatitis C. If after six months of taking medicine, the hepatitis C virus is not in your blood, you are cured. Treating the external symptoms of hepatitis C is also possible through various light and laser treatments (examples).
Treatment is not going to be the same for everyone. There are different types of the hepatitis C virus and therefore there are different drugs, or combinations of drugs that should be used. The majority of people who are infected within the United States, have type I.
Some of the drugs that are used to treat hepatitis C include:
Each of these play a different role. One is capable of boosting the immune system while another is capable of attaching to the virus and stopping the duplication of itself. There are various side effects associated with the treatments, including muscle aches, nausea, trouble sleeping, and general anxiety.
In 2013, new drugs were approved by the FDA and can be used in conjunction with some of the other drugs. Approximately 80% of the people who are now treated for hepatitis C using the new treatment methods are able to be cleared of hepatitis C.
The main focus when dealing with hepatitis C is knowing how it is spread. A person can overcome hepatitis C, but if they continue sharing needles through drug use, and various other inappropriate behavior, they will only get hepatitis C again.
You will be able to be cure from hepatitis C, and this is one of the most important things to know. However, you need to know how to get it, how it’s contagious, and how you can spot that you have hepatitis. Once you have been infected with the virus.