Hepatitis C | HCV | MedlinePlus
What’s hepatitis C?
Hepatitis is irritation of the liver. Irritation is swelling that occurs when tissues of the physique are injured or contaminated. Irritation can injury organs.
There are several types of hepatitis. One kind, hepatitis C, is brought on by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C can vary from a light sickness lasting a number of weeks to a severe, lifelong sickness.
Hepatitis C might be acute or persistent:
- Acute hepatitis C is a short-term an infection. The signs can last as long as 6 months. Typically your physique is ready to struggle off the an infection and the virus goes away. However for most individuals, an acute an infection results in persistent an infection.
- Persistent hepatitis C is a long-lasting an infection. If it isn’t handled, it may well final for a lifetime and trigger severe well being issues, together with liver injury, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver most cancers, and even dying.
How is hepatitis C unfold?
Hepatitis C spreads by way of contact with the blood of somebody who has HCV. This contact could also be by way of
- Sharing drug needles or different drug supplies with somebody who has HCV. In america, that is the most typical approach that folks get hepatitis C.
- Getting an unintentional follow a needle that was used on somebody who has HCV. This could occur in well being care settings.
- Being tattooed or pierced with instruments or inks that weren’t sterilized after getting used on somebody who has HCV
- Having contact with the blood or open sores of somebody who has HCV
- Sharing private care gadgets which will have are available contact with one other individual’s blood, similar to razors or toothbrushes
- Being born to a mom with HCV
- Having unprotected intercourse with somebody who has HCV
Earlier than 1992, hepatitis C was additionally generally unfold by way of blood transfusions and organ transplants. Since then, there was routine testing of the U.S. blood provide for HCV. It’s now very uncommon for somebody to get HCV this fashion.
Who’s in danger for hepatitis C?
You usually tend to get hepatitis C when you
If you’re at excessive danger for hepatitis C, your well being care supplier will probably suggest that you just get examined for it.
What are the signs of hepatitis C?
Most individuals with hepatitis C haven’t any signs. Some folks with acute hepatitis C do have signs inside 1 to three months after they’re uncovered to the virus. These signs might embrace
When you’ve got persistent hepatitis C, you most likely is not going to have signs till it causes problems. This could occur many years after you had been contaminated. For that reason, hepatitis C screening is essential, even you probably have no signs.
What different issues can hepatitis C trigger?
With out therapy, hepatitis C might result in cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver most cancers. Early analysis and therapy of hepatitis C can forestall these problems.
How is hepatitis C recognized?
Well being care suppliers diagnose hepatitis C primarily based in your medical historical past, a bodily examination, and blood assessments.
Should you do have hepatitis C, it’s possible you’ll want extra assessments to verify for liver injury. These assessments might embrace different blood assessments, an ultrasound of the liver, and a liver biopsy.
What are the remedies for hepatitis C?
Remedy for hepatitis C is with antiviral medicines. They’ll treatment the illness generally.
When you’ve got acute hepatitis C, your well being care supplier might wait to see in case your an infection turns into persistent earlier than beginning therapy.
In case your hepatitis C causes cirrhosis, you must see a physician who makes a speciality of liver ailments. Therapies for well being issues associated to cirrhosis embrace medicines, surgical procedure, and different medical procedures. In case your hepatitis C results in liver failure or liver most cancers, it’s possible you’ll want a liver transplant.
Can hepatitis C be prevented?
There isn’t a vaccine for hepatitis C. However you may assist shield your self from hepatitis C an infection by
- Not sharing drug needles or different drug supplies
- Carrying gloves if it’s important to contact one other individual’s blood or open sores
- Ensuring your tattoo artist or physique piercer makes use of sterile instruments and unopened ink
- Not sharing private gadgets such toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
- Utilizing a latex condom throughout intercourse. In case your or your companion is allergic to latex, you need to use polyurethane condoms.
NIH: Nationwide Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Illnesses