Fighting Hepatitis C - Treatment & More!

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Hepatitis

Hepatitis C – The disease found worldwide is among the leading cause of deaths around the world. The condition is caused when a person gets infected with the hepatitis c virus (HCV). It causes inflammation in the liver as a result of a severe infection. 

Types of Hepatitis C Infection

It’s a highly contagious disease which can either be acute or chronic.  The acute one can last for weeks while the chronic infection can last for months which may or may not be detected early.

According to a study by ‘World Health Organization’, an estimated 71 million people are suffering from Chronic Hepatitis C infection.

Observed Symptoms

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70-80% of people suffering from Hepatitis C don’t show symptoms. Though there were cases representing symptoms with mild effects to the severe one.

The symptoms can include the following.

  • Joint Pain, Fatigue and Nausea

  • Jaundice

  • Loss of Appetite

  • Fever

  • Abdominal Pain

  • Discomfort

  • Dark Urine and clay coloured bowel movements.

It may take weeks to appear or don’t show at all.

It does appear same in both men and women but the ability to fight off the virus is stronger in females as compared to males. So, the disease remains longer in men in comparison to women.

How does it spread?

The hepatitis c virus is blood borne and can be passed down through many ways involving blood to blood contact.

  • Organ Transplant and blood transfusion.

  • Sharing a toothbrush, razors and used needles.

  • Blood exchange during sexual encounters.

  • In the case of childbirth, an infected mother can pass on the disease to her baby.

  • People doing drugs via the use of needles.

Treatment, Medication, and Vaccination

There’s no vaccination created till now to treat the virus but there is certain medication to fight the HCV virus. It’s not usual that everyone suffering from the virus needs a treatment. Some people have an immune system strong enough to fight the virus. For the ones who can’t fight it off, they need certain interferons and antivirals depending on their HCV genotypes. On knowing the genotypes, it’s easy to prescribe a certain medication.

If not treated properly or within time, the complications may result in cirrhosis, liver cancer or also require a liver transplant.

Some facts and figures related to Hepatitis C

  • The most affected regions with Hepatitis C are Eastern Mediterranean and European Region with a prevalence of 2.3% and 1.5% respectively.

• 399,000 people die every year from hepatitis c.

• Antiviral medicine can cure up to 95% of the virus.

• People infected with the virus don’t have a clue until they have liver damage.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 1 out of 4 people who contract the hepatitis C virus  will eventually be cured of the condition without treatment.

• An estimated 71 million people are suffering from Chronic Hepatitis C infection (As mentioned above).

So, Hepatitis C is responsible for health and liver problems around the world and we may not cure it completely but we can fight it off with certain treatment and medications. Time is not far when we may even end up with a proper cure.