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Americans this is for you. Did you guys know? In the US, the prevalence of hepatitis C is higher than HIV, shocking isn’t it? Hepatitis C is more common among Americans than HIV infection, with over twice as many cases reported to date. Furthermore, 50–90% of HIV-positive intravenous drug users also have HCV.
Although this deadly virus preys on the human liver, it can potentially spread to other vital organs and affect their functioning over time. That’s why it is called a silent killer. By the time you notice something is wrong, it may be too late to save your liver. It’s a request to all people out there to get proper care of their health and take regular screening for HCV(especially you Americans). Moreover, read and share this blog article to learn about this dangerous disease and how to prevent and treat it with drugs like Hepcvir 400mg and Ledifos 400 mg/ 90 mg.
What Is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C(HCV) is a stealthy enemy that invades your liver. It unleashes a wave of inflammation and swelling, which slowly erodes your liver tissues over time. It is a silent killer that can lurk in your body for years without any symptoms until it is too late to reverse the damage.
We all are aware that Hepatitis C is a kind that spreads through viruses. But the surprising fact is that HCV can potentially be caused through other sources as well. However, the virus is the main culprit in the majority of sources. Moreover, the primary difference between the two common hepatitis viruses i.e, HBV and HCV is that the latter is chronic.
How Common Is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a hidden epidemic that has swept across the U.S. in the last decade. It has multiplied its victims by almost four times, reaching nearly 4 million people in the nation. Many of them don’t even know they are infected. The CDC has issued an urgent call for all U.S. adults to get screened for hepatitis C. Around the world, the situation is even more alarming. The estimated number of infections is 60 million. Hepatitis C is a ticking time bomb that can explode into serious liver problems. Don’t let it catch you off guard. Get tested and treated today.
What Are the Symptoms Of Hepatitis C?
Although the indications of HCV are a little later than HBV, these are some potential ones that could show up anytime between 2 weeks to 6 months in the HCV-positive patient;
- Entire body hurts
- Diminished appetite.
Additionally, they might mirror the following signs of severe liver failure:
- Stomach ache, particularly on the top-right side.
- Vomiting and queasiness.
- Light-colored feces with dark-colored urine.
- Yellowing of nails, teeth, and sclera i.e, Jaundice
How Do You Get Hepatitis C?
Chronic Hepatitis C virus is a very complicated and severe kind because unlike Hepatitis B the likelihood of getting serious liver damage such as cirrhosis and liver failure is very high. If you want to understand the life cycle of HCV look below;
- Incubation or exposure phase
- Acute HCV
- Chronic HCV
- Liver cancer
That’s why the causes of HBV and HCV slightly differ. So what is the main cause of Hepatitis C? Here they are;
- Sharing syringes and injectable medicines
- Engaging in penetrative sex, particularly if you engage in aggressive sex(that leads to bleeding), have multiple sex partners, HIV, or other STDs
- Being pricked with contaminated needles
- Birth: It’s something a woman can give(HCV) her kid.
- sharing personal hygiene products such as nail cutters, shaving razors, and toothbrushes
- Getting a body piercing or tattoo with contaminated tools
Hepatitis C Risk Factors
If you fall in any of these given criteria, the CDC highly suggests you go through testing for HCV;
- You should get tested if you are 18 or 18+
- Expecting mothers(at every stage of pregnancy)
- I got blood from a volunteer who had/has the illness
- If you are taking intravenous drugs
- Had any organ transplantation or a blood transfusion before July 1992
- Possess a history of exposure to hepatitis C-positive blood
- Had renal dialysis for a prolonged period
- HIV positive
- Having aberrant liver tests or liver illness
- Inherited hepatitis C from mother at birth
How Is Hepatitis C Diagnosed?
If you are having all those above-mentioned symptoms, your medics will primarily advise you to go through these two tests;
- The antibody test
- The PCR test
The antibody test is a blood test that checks for signs of the hepatitis C virus in your system. Antibodies are like soldiers that your immune system sends to fight against invaders. If the test comes back positive it indicates that you have inadvertently come into contact with the HCV, but it does not indicate whether you are actively fighting the infection or not.
The hepatitis C virus’s genetic code (RNA) can be found in your body using a blood test called a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This test can determine the viral load—the amount of virus in your body—and tell if you are currently infected.
Also Read: Hepatitis B: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Treatment And Medication For Hepatitis C
Again it depends upon what stage are you in. That means if you are still in the acute phase, unfortunately, there is a remedy available. However, detecting it in the acute stage also happens to one in many.
If the stage is chronic, several drugs are available for Hepatitis C treatment.
- Sofosbuvir with elbasvir/grazoprevir