Almost 80% of the people affected with Hepatitis C virus do not know that they have the virus and develop a long-term infection. Hepatitis C virus infects the liver, and a chronic infection may result in serious liver diseases like cirrhosis and liver cancer. Since the condition shows little or no symptoms, diagnosis of the same becomes difficult.
The following is a brief Hep C guide that will help you understand the symptoms, causes, treatments, and prevention of the disease.
What are the causes and symptoms?
As earlier stated, the condition shows no symptoms in most cases. However, a few common symptoms are:
- Stomach ache
- Loss of appetite
The disease is contagious and can spread through blood or other bodily fluids. The spread can occur through:
- Sharing of needles
- Sexual intercourse
- Using the same needle as the infected person
- Passed to the newborn when the mother is infected
How is it diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects a Hep C infection, he will prescribe a blood test to confirm the infection.
Acute (Short term) Hep C is not treated because most people do not know that they are affected by the virus. For chronic Hep C, the doctor prescribes a combination of antiviral medicines. The treatment depends on the strain of the virus. The most common type is genotype 1. Others are genotype 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Can you prevent yourself from Hep C infection?
There is no vaccine to prevent Hepatitis C viral infection. However, there are certain ways which allow you to keep yourself from being infected. Mentioned below is a quick Hep C guide:
- Have protected sex by using a condom
- Do not share drugs and needles
- Take care while getting a tattoo, body piercing, or manicure
- Do not share personal items like razors
- Refrain from donating blood or tissue if you have the infection
Thus, this comprehensive Hep C guide would give you an insight of what to expect when Hep C infects you. Also, you can understand how to protect yourself from such an infection.