When the word ‘Vaccine’ comes to the hearing of anyone, the thought of prevention is what follows. This is true because the best attempt to shield against any form of diseases remains vaccination, a wholesome protection even before any exposure to the infection. It is, however, disheartening to know that such vaccine which is capable of protecting a person against Hepatitis C is not available. Although these vaccines exist for Hepatitis A and B, the efforts to make one for Hepatitis C has presented a lot of challenges.
Vaccination generally works through the process of inducing an antibody response that targets the other surface of the viruses. Be that as it may, Hepatitis C virus is very unstable among the strains and mutates rapidly thereby making it difficult for a vaccine to work effectively.
All hope is not lost with the foregoing as one could prevent him or herself from Hepatitis C by other measures because if it is not done, people who are infected and living with the disease can end up with other chronic forms of infections.
How can one avoid Hepatitis C without a vaccine?
- While the world waits for the development of the Hepatitis C vaccine, one can be protected from spreading or getting the virus infection. The best way to do this is to avoid any act which puts one in contact with the blood of an infected person.
- Another way to avoid Hepatitis C is to avoid the needles as much as necessary. These needles which are used to inject intoxicating drugs and substances are commonly shared among some group of persons and when this happens, the virus gets transferred to the uninfected person if it had been used by an infected person beforehand.
- Another method which could be applied in avoiding the virus is to engage only in protected sex especially if one has multiple partners. Sexual intercourse with an infected person is a sure ticket to being contaminated with the infection also. If a person practices safe sex, the tendency of contracting the virus is low as such persons are also advised to enjoin their partners to protect themselves too.
It’s not all scary
It is worthy of note to state that while one makes effort to avoid Hepatitis C, there are some means through which the virus cannot spread.
- Hugging an infected person.
- Feeding of an infant with breast milk by an infected mother.
- Feeding on the same plates and utensils with an infected person.
- Casual contacts with an infected person.
- Kissing an infected person.
- Sharing drinks with an infected person, and many similar ways.
How a person infected with Hepatitis C prevent others from getting infected too
If one is infected with the virus, he or she can do others a great deal of service in terms of prevention by doing the following:
- Keeping any open wounds bandaged and fully dry to avoid fluids touching other uninfected persons.
- Staying away from blood and semen donations as the infection could be transmitted by such means.
- Informing the doctor of the current medical condition and seeking advice on how to lead a healthier life, and as well prevent others from being infected.
- Avoid sharing razors, toothbrushes, and other sharp objects with uninfected persons. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people who share syringes and other similar devices are at a very high risk of transferring infections to one another, of which Hepatitis C is not an exception.
- By practicing safe sex. When one comes to the realization that he or she lives with the infection, safe sex should be practiced so as to prevent uninfected persons from contracting it.
- By not getting a tattoo especially from an unlicensed practitioner. This is also one of the mediums through which the disease is contracted. If one must get a tattoo, it should be done by a licensed practitioner who would employ safety methods so as not to pass it to another uninfected person.
Vaccines research for Hepatitis C
Scientists have so far found HCV-like viruses in rodents, bats, and horses but with no similarities to it being like that of a human. There is, however, positive opinions as the vaccine for Hepatitis C in humans would soon be developed.
Successful Hepatitis C vaccine in horses shows that mammals can prevent this disease before it even occurs. This gives hope that it would bring us closer to getting the one for humans very soon.
One should know for sure that Hepatitis C cannot be prevented with a vaccine in our world of today but there are other means as seen above which one can use as a shield to reduce drastically, the chances of becoming infected with the virus.
If one has Hepatitis C, it is not the end of the world because good medications can help one to live a very healthy life similar to those without the infection. All the same, consulting a medical practitioner is always the best option to pick.