Like its other variations, Hepatitis A and B, Hepatitis C too is a viral disease that infects the liver and is caused by the Hepatitis C virus. Chronic or less severe, the symptoms of this illness are barely noticeable during the initial stages, making the diagnosis nearly next to impossible. When the chronic infection is retained for long, later in life it can develop into liver cancer, cirrhosis, liver failure, or simply gastric and esophageal varices.
Coming to the general symptoms of Hepatitis C, the commons signs are mild fever, abdominal pain, dark urine, as well as yellowish skin, and jaundice. The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is spread through exchange of blood, which can be through blood transfusion, dialysis, intravenous drug use, badly sterilized medical equipment, unsterilized tattoo equipment, or from infected needle sticks. The virus isn’t spread through any superficial contact though, and it is only via blood to blood contact that transmission can take place. On the other hand, there still isn’t an established report on whether sexual intercourse can cause an infection from this virus.
The infection can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby during birth. The diagnosis of infection from Hepatitis C virus can be figured out through blood test. Unlike the other two predecessors from its league that are Hepatitis A and B, Hepatitis C till date doesn’t have a vaccine to prevent it. However, the chronic versions of the disease can be treated with intense medication, with the drugs simeprevir or sofosbuvir. However, when the cases get severe and a person suffers a liver failure or cirrhosis, it is only liver transplant that is the last resort for saving the patient’s life. It is also said that the most significantly occurring reason for people going liver transplant worldwide is Hepatitis C virus. In the year 2013, there was a shocking addition of 11 million cases newly affected by the Hepatitis C virus.
The disease is currently more common in Central and East Asia, alongside Africa. The Hepatitis C virus was previously recognized as the non-Hepatitis A, non-Hepatitis B. Hepatitis C is capable of infecting only chimpanzees and human beings.
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