Hepatitis means the inflammation of the liver and viral hepatitis are diseases that affect the liver. The most common types of hepatitis are A, B, and C. Each type of hepatitis has different causes and symptoms. Let’s look at hepatitis C in detail.
Hepatitis C (HCV) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease n the US. Studies show that the number of people who have been infected with hepatitis C is increasing worldwide. According to the World Heath Organization, more than 350,000 people are dying from liver disease that are related to hepatitis C. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) 1.8 percent of Americans have infected with hepatitis C. If the infected individual does not seek treatment, hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, liver cancer, and eventually liver failure.
How is Hepatitis C Transmitted
- By Intravenous drug user (sharing needles)
- If an individual gets a tattoo or receives acupuncture from needs that have not been properly sterilized
- By having unprotected sex with an infected partner through exposure to his or her blood. Blood could be present from genital sores, menstruation, or any open wounds
- Through blood transfusion from blood that has not been screened. Blood transfusions in the US and UK are screened
- Through birth from a HCV infected mother, which is rare. If the mother had HIV, this can increase the risk
- By sharing household personal items with an infected person including razors, toothbrush, scissors, and nail clippers
Symptoms of Hepatitis C
- Mild, flu-like symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Jaundice (yellow skin)
- Itchy Skin