Hepatitis c is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection; by alcohol, drugs, or toxins; or through transfusion of incompatible blood. Hepatitis c can cause serious liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer and sometimes even death. Know the ways how to prevent hepatitis c which could be very helpful for your health to protect you and others from the virus.
Symptoms of hepatitis c
Seventy to eighty percent of people with the virus do not have symptoms, especially in the early stages. Symptoms may develop years later when liver damage occurs. Others develop symptoms between two weeks to six months after infection. The average time to develop symptoms is six to seven weeks after acquiring the virus. A person who has hepatitis c infection, but is not exhibiting any symptoms can still pass the virus on to others.
Symptoms may include, mild to severe fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, joint pain, dark urine, clay-colored stool, yellowing of the skin, (jaundice) and sore muscles.
How to percent hepatitis c
The hepatitis c virus is present in an infected person’s blood and certain body fluids like (semen and vaginal secretions) and can be spread through sexual intercourse or by sharing needles.
Acute hepatitis is when the viral infection of the liver first occurs. This often lasts less than 1 or 2 months and the signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and pain in the abdomen. Dark urine and jaundice (yellow color of skin) develop in some people after about 2 weeks. The goals for managing acute viral hepatitis are good nutrition, preventing additional damage to the liver, and to prevent transmission of the virus to others.
If acute hepatitis lasts longer than 6 months, it is called chronic hepatitis and this causes liver damage over a long period. The normal cells of the liver are replaced with scar tissue which affects liver function. This is known as cirrhosis.
How do you get hepatitis c
The hepatitis c virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood of a person who is infected with the virus. The infected blood usually enters the body through a puncture in the skin. The most common way the virus is transmitted is through injection drug use. Sharing needles, personal items, such as toothbrushes, razors, and nail clippers with someone who is infected can transmit hepatitis c. A pregnant woman can pass the hepatitis virus to her baby although it is not clear at what stage of pregnancy transmission occurs. It is therefore important to follow precautions if you become pregnant.
Tattooing is associated with increased risk of hepatitis c. This can be to improperly sterilize equipment or that dyes being used are contaminated with affected blood. Appropriate caution should be taken with any medical condition such as cuts and sores that results in bleeding.
Reduce your risk of infection
To reduce your risk of infection, avoid sharing items such as toothbrushes and razors with others. Do not use injected drugs. If you have to use this, know your risk and follow precautions. Never share needles and other equipment with others. Getting tattoos and body piercings can put you at risk. Use condoms during sex. If you are a health care worker you should take precautions to avoid needle sticks and properly dispose of needles and other materials that come into contact with blood. Speak to your doctor about your risk factors and follow recommended screening standards for hepatitis c.
How to prevent giving hepatitis c to others
If you have hepatitis c, follow these precautions to prevent spreading or giving it to others. You should cover cuts and blisters. Wash your hands or objects that come in contact with your blood. Clean spilled blood on surfaces with household bleach and water. Don’t share personal items that have your blood on it. Do not breastfeed if your nipples become cracked and bleed. Do not donate blood, sperm or organs.
According to research, about 2.7 – 3.9 million people in the United States, live with the hepatitis c infection. The virus is most common in baby boomers who represent 75% of infected adults. Many people with the virus don’t know they have it because the virus may not produce symptoms until decades after infection. If you were born between 1945 and 1965 and have not been tested, you should talk to your doctor about getting tested for the infection and follow precautions on how to prevent hepatitis c. This can help protect you, your family and others from the virus.
Delores Powell: My passion is all about Health and Wellness, Success and to help others succeed as well. Believe in yourself. You will achieve.