Hepatitis C is a disease caused by a virus known as the Hepatitis C virus or HCV. It is one of the Hepatitis diseases and they all cause damage to the liver.
Dubbed as the ‘silent epidemic,’ Hepatitis C is known as the world’s most common liver disease. In the United States, almost 2% of the population is infected with Hepatitis C, and 80% of them are at very high risk of contracting various chronic infections. Out of this 80%, 20% is very likely to suffer from liver cirrhosis, a serious liver complication, and 5% is prone to having liver cancer.
In order to understand Hepatitis C, one must know how Hepatitis C is transmitted, diagnosed, and treated. Knowledge of these things will help a lot in protecting one’s self from this fatal liver disease.
Modes of transmission of Hepatitis C
There are numerous methods of transmission of Hepatitis C and some of them are:
- Blood transfusion with blood that is infected with Hepatitis C
- Using needles, syringes, and other medical paraphernalia that are not properly sterilized and/or may have been contaminated with the Hepatitis C virus
- Using of unsterilized equipment for nose piercing, ear piercing, circumcision, and other body piercing methods
- Having sex with multiple partners
- Having sex with a Hepatitis C-infected person
- Hepatitis C-infected mother can pass the virus on to her newborn child
Myths On The Transmission of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is NOT transmitted through the following:
- Sharing food, water, utensils, or drinking glasses with a Hepatitis C-infected person
- Casual contact
Hepatitis C Prevention
Hepatitis C can be prevented in many ways.
- First, always use protection when having sex. Use condoms all the time because you do not know if your sex partner carries the virus or not. It is also discouraged to have multiple sexual partners as this puts you at higher risk of contracting the Hepatitis C virus.
- Second, never use used syringes, needles, and other medical paraphernalia. They are chances that those things have been used by a Hepatitis C patient, so reusing them will just infect you with the disease.
- Third, always sterilize needles, syringes, and other medical equipment before use.
- Fourth, try to have your own nail files, nail clippers, razors, and toothbrushes. Avoid sharing these things with other people as it may put you at risk of being infected with the Hepatitis C virus.