Hepatitis C

April 7, 2020

Hepatitis C

Which Hepatitis is most dangerous?

What is liver inflammation?
Inflammation of the liver, also called hepatitis or jaundice, is a disease that causes impaired liver function. The liver is a vital organ that processes many substances, filters blood and fights infections.

 When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its work is disrupted and a disease occurs, the symptoms of which are yellowness of the skin and eyes, fever, general malaise, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine, and pale stool. The intensity of the disease depends on many factors, the disease can occur acutely or go into a chronic form.

Inflammation of the liver can be caused by alcohol, toxins, certain medications, and certain diseases. But most often it is caused by viruses, the most common of which are hepatitis B and C.

What are the chances of getting Hep C sexually?

What is type C viral hepatitis (Hepatitis C)?
Hepatitis C is an infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. The acute (active) stage of hepatitis C develops within a few months after being infected with a viral infection and can occur in a very mild form, almost asymptomatic, and in severe until hospitalization. For unknown reasons, in approximately 20% of those infected, the virus can disappear within 6 months after infection without any treatment.

However, unfortunately, in most cases (about 80%), the virus remains for life and goes into a chronic form (“virus carriers”). At the same time, cirrhosis can occur in 20-30% of virus carriers – a liver disease in which the death of the liver tissue occurs and its gradual replacement with fibrous (scar) tissue (the process of fibrosis). In about half of patients with cirrhosis, multiple scars can lead to liver failure and the need for liver transplantation, in a small percentage of cases this can lead to the development of liver cancer.

 How long can a person live after being diagnosed with Hep C?

What are the symptoms of viral hepatitis C?
In many people infected with the hepatitis C virus, the disease is asymptomatic and they do not know that they are infected with the virus. But if symptoms do occur, they manifest as high fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, pale stool, dark urine, joint pain, and yellowness of the skin and eyes.

In acute infections, symptoms can occur at any time, from two weeks to six months from the time of infection. Chronic disease can develop over the decades, and the onset of symptoms often indicates a progressive liver disease.

How does viral hepatitis C infection occur?
Hepatitis C virus infection occurs when blood from an infected person enters the body of an uninfected person. Most infections occur among drug addicts as a result of sharing needles, syringes, or any other injection equipment. Until the 90s, before blood and blood products were tested for hepatitis C, an infection could have occurred through a blood transfusion or organ transplant.

Hepatitis C is rarely transmitted sexually, but such an infection is possible. The risk of infection increases if there are sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, or sex with multiple partners. Infection can also occur as a result of the use of non-sterile equipment for tattoos and piercings. Besides, about 6% of babies born to infected mothers can also be infected.
There are a certain number of people who do not know how and when they were infected. In Israel, a high prevalence of the virus is detected among returnees from the former Soviet Union.

How can I find out if I have the hepatitis C virus?
To find out if there is a hepatitis C virus, you should take a blood test for antibodies. The body produces antibodies against the hepatitis C virus, which remain in the blood forever, even after curing the virus. 

A positive antibody test means that the hepatitis C virus infection was at some point, but that does not necessarily mean that the person is sick. To determine this, an additional check is made, the so-called RNA test, which determines whether the virus is in the active stage of the disease.

Who should be tested for the hepatitis C virus?
The following populations are recommended to take the hepatitis C virus test:
Persons who underwent a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
To people who injected drugs – even if it was only once in a lifetime and even if it happened many years ago

Persons with certain medical conditions, such as chronic liver disease, HIV or AIDS
Persons whose blood test has detected impaired liver function or liver disease
Persons in contact with hepatitis C-infected blood
Hepatitis C infected mother
Ministry of Health is working on a definition of complementary population groups to whom testing will be recommended. Recommendations will be published after discussions at professional commissions.

Is there a treatment for hepatitis C?
Treatment exists! Recently, many new drugs have come into use – safe, effective, effective for a short time and accompanied by a small number of side effects. The treatment strategy is determined depending on the severity and nature of the disease, so there is a need for a specialist doctor.

Can viral hepatitis C infection be prevented?
Although there is currently no vaccine against hepatitis C virus, there are ways to reduce the risk of infection:
Do not use shared syringes, needles, or other injectables
Do not use common personal items that may come in contact with the blood of an infected person, such as razor blades, nail clippers, a toothbrush, or a device for measuring blood sugar
Do not get tattoos or piercings in places where there is no strict sterility.
Thanks for Reading.
M.Zia Nadeem Jhullan