It is caused by the hepatitis C virus and it infects the liver. Many people may have the infection and may not even know. The virus spreads through the blood or bodily fluids.
So it can be passed on by:-
• Sharing needles and drugs
• Infected needles
• Unprotected sex
• From mother to foetus
What kind of symptoms does Hepatitis C manifest?
• Abdominal pain
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
People who are at risk for hepatitis C include:-
• Patients who’ve had infected blood transfusions
• Drug abused patients
• Those who have been on long term kidney dialysis
• HIV infected
• Babies born to a mother who has the infection
• Persons suffering from liver disease
Treatment for Hepatitis C
• If diagnosed early, you may not need medication immediately. Instead you will be checked in a few months again to see if your body fights off the virus.
• If you have chronic hepatitis, you will need treatment that will include:-
– Taking medication
– Making lifestyle changes to help prevent further damage to your liver
Long term effects of hepatitis C if not treated can lead to conditions like:-
• Liver cancer
• Liver cirrhosis
• Scarring of the liver
• May ultimately need liver transplant
Is Hepatitis C preventable?
There is no vaccine for it. But you can follow simple rules to stay safe.
These rules should be followed if you have hepatitis C, so that you don’t infect other people.
• Stop taking drugs
• Don’t share needles
• Make sure a new needle is used at the laboratory when taking blood
• Use a condom during intercourse
• Don’t share personal items like razors