According to the World Health Organization, Hepatitis C virus can cause liver disease if not treated immediately. Just like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C is also categorized as acute and chronic infection. A chronic infection of Hepatitis C virus can lead to lifelong disease and medication and death. Hepatitis C is blood borne meaning it is often get through direct contact with infected blood.

Facts about Hepatitis C Virus

  • It is blood borne
  • It can cause serious damage to the liver
  • It affects 150 million people daily worldwide
  • Half million people die of Hepatitis C infection annually
  • There is a 90% survival rate among people with Hepatitis C infection using antiviral medicines
  • There is no vaccine against Hepatitis C virus
  • Hugging a person with Hepatitis C infection cannot cause transmission of the disease so is kissing and having casual contact with the infected person
  • Hepatitis C virus cannot be passed on through breast milk

How to stay safe from Hepatitis C virus

  1. Do not share injection or needles with other people
  2. If you are in the healthcare industry, make sure to sterile all of your equipment to prevent possible Hepatitis C transmission
  3. Although this is blood borne, Hepatitis C virus can be transmitted through direct contact to someone with Hepatitis C infection such as through sex
  4. Pregnant mothers can pass Hepatitis C virus to their unborn child
  5. Do not engage in sex with new partners without using condom
  6. Practice good hand hygiene such as frequently washing of hands and using of gloves
  7. Before using donated blood, test it first for Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B

Hepatitis C Incubation Period

When infected with Hepatitis C virus, there can be no symptoms to tell you that you are infected for up to six months because this virus has an incubation period of 14 days up to 180 days. At least 20% of Hepatitis C infected persons can be symptomatic though and exhibit common symptoms such as yellowing of the skin and eyes, losing appetite, nausea, vomiting, having dark urine and abdominal pain and joint pains.

World Health Organization’s Move against Hepatitis C

In an effort to reduce Hepatitis C infection, the World Health Organization recommends the following to all health agencies worldwide:

  1. Population who are at risk  of having Hepatitis C infection must be screened such as prisoners and those who are undergoing constant blood transfusion
  2. People who tested Hepatitis C positive must be counselled and educate regarding the effect of alcohol consumption to their infection and treatment
  3. People who tested Hepatitis C positive must undergo constant tests to determine the condition of their liver
  4. Doctors and medical officers who are in charge in treatment and medication of a person with Hepatitis C infection must follow the medication pattern provided by the World Health Organization. You can read the full recommendation here. The medication and treatment depends on the type of Hepatitis C virus strain that a patient currently has.