Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C (HCV) virus. It is the most common blood borne disease. The hepatitis C virus is a single stranded RNA virus and is 10 times more infectious than HIV.
HCV causes both acute and chronic infection ranging in severity from mild disease- lasting for few weeks - to life-long illness. About 20 % of people infected with hepatitis C virus will completely recover. 50 % to 70 % of people develop chronic liver disease and some of these may go on to develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
People do not develop any symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged. HCV is commonly transmitted through sharing of injections, razors, reuse of needles and syringes, transfusion of unscreened blood products, and direct blood to blood contact.
Although no active vaccine is available against HCV injection, effective treatment exits. . If the infection is left untreated, it tend to develop scarring of the liver.
Treating hepatitis C early can reduce the risk of complications. Based on the genotype testing, the treatment approach can be determined. There are six main hepatitis C genotypes that have different responses to drugs.
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