C is an infectious disease affecting the liver, caused by the hepatitis
C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but once established,
chronic infection can progress. In some cases other complications
occur including liver failure.
C is a liver disease that is caused by infection with the hepatitis
You can not get hepatitis C from casual contact such as hugging,
kissing, sneezing, coughing, or sharing food or water with someone.
You can get hepatitis C if you come into contact with the blood
of someone who has hepatitis C.
most common way to get hepatitis C is by sharing needles and
other equipment used to inject illegal drugs.
If you are injecting drugs, the best way to protect yourself
is by not sharing needles or other equipment with others.
In rare cases, a mother with hepatitis C spreads the virus to
her baby at birth, or a health care worker is accidentally exposed
to blood that is infected with hepatitis C.
Experts are not sure whether you can get hepatitis C through
sexual contact. If there is a risk of getting the virus through
sexual contact, it is very small.
If you live with someone who has hepatitis C or you know someone
with hepatitis C, you can help protect yourself by not sharing
anything that may have blood on it, such as razors, toothbrushes
and nail clippers.
The incubation period is the time it takes for symptoms to appear
after the hepatitis C virus has entered your body and it is
any time from 2 weeks to 6 months.
Anyone who has hepatitis C can spread the virus to someone else.
If testing shows you have hepatitis C, do not share needles
and keep cuts, scrapes and blisters covered.
the minority of patients who experience acute phase symptoms,
they are generally mild and nonspecific and rarely lead to
a specific diagnosis of hepatitis C.
Symptoms of acute hepatitis C infection include decreased appetite,
fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching and flu-like symptoms.
Chronic hepatitis C is defined as infection with the hepatitis
C virus persisting for more than six months. Clinically, it
is often asymptomatic (without symptoms) and it is mostly discovered
accidentally (e.g. usual checkup).
The natural course of chronic hepatitis C varies considerably
from one person to another. Although almost all people infected
with HCV have evidence of inflammation on liver biopsy.
Once chronic hepatitis C has progressed, signs and symptoms
may appear that are generally caused by either decreased liver
function or increased pressure in the liver circulation, a condition
known as portal hypertension.
signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis include ascites (accumulation
of fluid in the abdomen), bruising and bleeding tendency, enlarged
veins especially in stomach and jaundice.
to Centers for Disease Control, hepatitis C virus is spread by exposure
to large quantities of blood, either through the skin or by injection
Receipt of donated blood, blood products and organs.
Needle stick injuries in healthcare settings.
Birth to an HCV-infected mother.
People can be exposed to HCV via inadequately or improperly
sterilized medical or dental equipment.
Medical and dental personnel, first responders (e.g., firefighters,
paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers
and military) can be exposed to HCV through accidental exposure
to blood through accidental needle sticks or blood spatter to
the eyes or open wounds.
Tattooing dyes, stylets and piercing implements can transmit
HCV-infected blood from one person to another if proper sterilization
techniques are not followed.
Sex with an HCV-infected person (an inefficient means of transmission).
Sharing personal items contaminated with infectious blood, such
as razors or toothbrushes (also inefficient vectors of transmission).
such as the provision of new needles and syringes and education
about safer drug injection procedures, greatly decrease the
risk of hepatitis C spreading between injecting drug users.
vaccine protects against hepatitis C, or helps to treat it.
Vaccines are under development and some have shown encouraging