Hepatitis C is a viral disease that affects the liver. Originally called “non-A non-B hepatitis”, it is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV).Hepatitis C is a viral disease that affects the liver. Originally called “non-A non-B hepatitis”, it is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Although no vaccine is available against infection, effective treatment exists. The infection may take years to produce symptoms; most people thus remain unaware of being infected. By the time they become ill and seek help, considerable damage has been done. Early diagnosis is hence vital.
HCV is 10 times more infectious than HIV when comparing direct blood-to-blood contact. The rule of the ‘twenties’ often describes the fate of patients with hepatitis C: About 20% of people infected with hepatitis C virus will completely recover 20% of the rest will develop cirrhosis Of those who develop cirrhosis, about 20% will develop liver cancer
Acute and chronic variants of the disease exist- Acute hepatitis C and Chronic Hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus is spread by blood-to-blood contact. Estimates say that 270-300 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. Prognosis or outcome of the disease appears to be better in females compared to their male counterparts. Treatment options include medications, peginterferon and ribavirin. Patients who develop liver cancer or scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver may require a liver transplant. Hepatitis C can be avoided with adequate precautions.