Hep C Transmision

There is a lot of misinformation around about Hep C transmission of the virus, which is understandable. This is because the origin of how a person transmitted Hepatitis C to another in half of all cases is never found.

About thirty-five percent of infections are transmission by blood-to-blood contact; this is normally through sharing needles while using recreational drugs.

Although rare, a small proportion of infections are contracted by

    • Non-sterile body piercing and tattoo equipment
    • Sexual intercourse
    • Swapping bodily fluids like saliva
    • Sharing toothbrushes or razors
    • Blood transfusions in countries where screening for Hepatitis C is not carried out

Hepatitis Epidemic C?

Did you know that there is an estimated 270 to 300 million infected people worldwide and 9 out of 10 people infected are not aware?

There are at least three types of Hepatitis, A, B and C. The Hepatitis C virus is a liver disease that causes inflammation; in fact the word Hepatitis is the Latin word for inflammation.

Most medical experts believe we are suffering from an epidemic of Hep C. The problem with Hepatitis C is that a patient can be infected for decades before the virus is discovered, meaning someone infected with Hepatitis C can pass the virus on to others without knowledge.

Symptoms of Type C Hepatitis

It takes one to six months for the virus to pass through its incubation period before symptoms may appear. Only one in ten patients actually has symptoms or signs that they could be infected, the other nine do not have any symptoms at all.

The symptom found most common in patients infected with Hepatitis C is fatigue; usually the initial diagnosis is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the diagnosis of Hepatitis C is normally found later on.

Early symptoms include

    • Aching muscles and joints
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Loss of appetite or poor appetite
    • Tiredness
    • Aching or pressure under the right rib
    • Intolerance of alcohol
    • Weight loss
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Dark Urine
    • Light colored excrement
    • Anxiety

In two thirds of cases Hepatitis C can last longer than 6 months, which is called Chronic Hepatitis C.

Treating Hep C

If the infection is found in time, before it evolves into chronic Hepatitis C, the infection can be treated by regular visits to the doctor and following the doctors advice of changing your diet, regular exercise and not drinking alcohol.

Drug therapy is needed for those who suffer with chronic Hepatitis C. There are two drugs that are normally combined to form treatment for long-term sufferers, Interferon and Ribavirin, which are antiviral drugs.

Those who take a full course of Interferon and Ribavirin (usually 6 months to a year) have a 55% chance of sustained improvement. There are negative affects to Interferon and Ribavirin; they can be so severe that patients find them intolerable. The negative effects are body aches, fatigue, hair loss, mood swings, depression, and blood conditions among others.

Summary

Should you feel that you have any of the symptoms named above than it may be beneficial to consult your doctor, as early detection is more likely to give you a better chance of coping with it and possibly receiving treatment to prevent further damage.
If you are found to suffer with Hepatitis C it can be a trying time, with support from your doctor you can lead a normal life.