Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Did I Get Hepatitis C

Could I Give Hepatitis C To Someone Else

How is Hepatitis C spread? — Mayo Clinic

Yes, once you have hepatitis C, you can always give it to someone else. If you have hepatitis C, you cannot donate blood. You should avoid sharing personal items like razors and toothbrushes. It is very rare to pass hepatitis C in these ways, but it can happen. Always use a condom when you have sex. If you have hepatitis C, your sexual partners should be tested to see if they also have it.

Talk to your doctor first if you want to have children. The virus isnt spread easily from a mother to her unborn baby. But it is possible, so you need to take precautions. However, if youre trying to have a baby, do not have sex during your menstrual cycle. The hepatitis C virus spreads more easily in menstrual blood.

Hepatitis C Symptoms & Treatment

FAST FACTS:

  • Hepatitis C is found in infected blood. It is also rarely found in semen and vaginal fluids.

  • Hepatitis C is mainly passed on through using contaminated needles and syringes or sharing other items with infected blood on them. It can also be passed on through unprotected sex, especially when blood is present.

  • You can prevent hepatitis C by never sharing needles and syringes, practising safer sex, and avoiding unlicensed tattoo parlours and acupuncturists.

  • Hepatitis C will often not have any noticeable symptoms, but a simple blood test carried out by a healthcare professional will show whether you have hepatitis C.

  • In the early stages, some peoples bodies can clear a hepatitis C infection on their own, others may develop chronic hepatitis C and will need to take antiviral treatment to cure the infection.

  • Without treatment, chronic hepatitis C can lead to permanent liver damage.

Hepatitis C is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver.

Its mainly passed on through contaminated needles, either from injecting drugs or from needle stick injuries in healthcare settings. It can also be transmitted sexually, especially during anal sex or other types of sex that may involve blood.

Some groups are more at risk of getting hepatitis C than others, including people who use drugs, people in prisons, men who have sex with men, health workers and people living with HIV.

When Your Child Has Hepatitis C Infection

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Many things can cause it. One of the causes is infection with a virus called the hepatitis C virus . In some cases, hepatitis C goes away on its own. But for most people, hepatitis C is a chronic problem. Hepatitis C almost never causes symptoms until later in the disease. Even so, hepatitis C can cause severe liver damage over time. And a child who has it can pass the virus to others.

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Living With Hepatitis C

Coping with hepatitis C isnt easy. You may feel sad, scared, or angry. You may not believe you have the disease. These feelings are normal, but they shouldnt keep you from living your daily life. If they do or if they last a long time you may be suffering from depression. People who are depressed have most or all of the following symptoms nearly every day, all day, for 2 weeks or longer:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless and having frequent crying spells.
  • Losing interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy .
  • Feeling guilty, helpless, or worthless.
  • Thinking about death or suicide.
  • Sleeping too much or having problems sleeping.
  • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss or gain.
  • Feeling very tired all the time.
  • Having trouble paying attention and making decisions.
  • Having aches and pains that dont get better with treatment.
  • Feeling restless, irritated, and easily annoyed.

Talk to your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. Your doctor can help by recommending a support group or a therapist. He or she may also prescribe a medicine for you to take.

Do I Have To Have Drug Treatment

How Do I Connect with Real People Living with Hepatitis C?

The choice is up to you and your doctor. The decision to use drug therapy can be hard to make because of the potential side effects. Your doctor will closely monitor your symptoms and the amount of the virus in your body. He or she will also consider your overall health. This includes looking at blood test results. All are important factors to consider before you and your doctor start drug treatment for your hepatitis C.

Recommended Reading: How Do You Get Hepatitis A And B

How Do Doctors Treat The Complications Of Hepatitis C

If hepatitis C leads to cirrhosis, you should see a doctor who specializes in liver diseases. Doctors can treat the health problems related to cirrhosis with medicines, surgery, and other medical procedures. If you have cirrhosis, you have an increased chance of liver cancer. Your doctor may order an ultrasound test to check for liver cancer.

If hepatitis C leads to liver failure or liver cancer, you may need a liver transplant.

What Are The Side Effects Of Drug Treatment

Common side effects for some treatments for hepatitis C may include the following:

  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • depression

Side effects are usually worst during the first few weeks of treatment. They become less severe over time. If you are having trouble dealing with the side effects of your medicine, talk to your doctor. He or she can suggest ways to relieve some of the side effects. For example, if your medicine makes you feel nauseated, it may help to take it right before you go to sleep.

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How To Prevent Hepatitis C

There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C. Avoiding contact with infected blood is the only way to prevent the condition.

The most common way for people to contract hepatitis C is by injecting street drugs. Because of this, the best way to prevent hepatitis C is to avoid injecting.

Treatments can help many people quit. People in the U.S. can call the National Helpline for help with finding treatments.

If a person finds it difficult to stop, they can reduce the risk of contracting hepatitis C by never sharing drug equipment, ensuring a clean, hygienic environment, and always using new equipment, including syringes, ties, alcohol swabs, cottons, and cookers.

People who may come into contact with infected blood, such as healthcare workers and caretakers, should always wash the hands thoroughly with soap and water after any contact, or suspected contact, with blood. They should also wear gloves when touching another persons blood or open wounds.

People can also reduce their risk by making sure that any tattoo artist or body piercer they visit uses fresh, sterile needles and unopened ink.

The risk of contracting hepatitis C through sexual contact is low. Using barrier protection, such as condoms, reduces the risk of most sexually transmitted infections.

People who have hepatitis C can reduce the risk of transmitting it to others by:

There are many misconceptions about how hepatitis C spreads. People cannot transmit or contract the virus through:

How Do You Get Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B? | How is Hepatitis B Transmitted?

The virus that causes hepatitis B lives in blood, semen, and other fluids in your body. You usually get it by having sex with someone who’s infected.

You also can get it if you:

  • Have direct contact with infected blood or the body fluids of someone who’s got the disease, for instance by using the same razor or toothbrush as someone who has hepatitis B, or touching the open sores of somebody who’s infected.
  • If you’re pregnant and you’ve got hepatitis B, you could give the disease to your unborn child. If you deliver a baby who’s got it, they need to get treatment in the first 12 hours after birth.

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Risk Factor: Past Blood Transfusions And Organ Transplants

Some risk factors are even more out of your control. For example, before the year 1992, the blood supply for transfusions and organ transplants wasnt screened for diseases like hepatitis C, says the CDCso if you had a transfusion or transplant before then, your risk of hep C was increased, Dr. Fox tells us. Nowadays, though, the risk of getting hep C through blood transfusion and organ transplants is super low, and the American Red Cross doesnt even accept blood donations from people who have ever had hepatitis C, per the CDC.

Reactive Or Positive Hepatitis C Antibody Test

  • A reactive or positive antibody test means that Hepatitis C antibodies were found in the blood and a person has been infected with the Hepatitis C virus at some point in time.
  • Once people have been infected, they will always have antibodies in their blood. This is true even if they have cleared the Hepatitis C virus.
  • A reactive antibody test does not necessarily mean that you have Hepatitis C. A person will need an additional, follow-up test.

Persons for Whom HCV Testing Is Recommended

  • Adults born from 1945 through 1965 should be tested once
  • Those who:
  • Ever injected drugs, including those who injected once or a few times many years ago
  • Have certain medical conditions, including persons:
  • who received clotting factor concentrates produced before 1987
  • who were ever on long-term hemodialysis
  • with persistently abnormal alanine aminotransferase levels
  • who have HIV infection
  • Were prior recipients of transfusions or organ transplants, including persons who:
  • were notified that they received blood from a donor who later tested positive for HCV infection
  • received a transfusion of blood, blood components, or an organ transplant before July 1992
  • HCV- testing based on a recognized exposure is recommended for:
  • Healthcare, emergency medical, and public safety workers after needle sticks, sharps, or mucosal exposures to HCV-positive blood
  • Children born to HCV-positive women
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    Risk Factor: Birth By A Mother With Hep C

    Another reason someone may have hepatitis C is if their biological mother was infected. Yeseven babies can get hep C, which just goes to show once again that theres no one type of person who contracts this virus. Thankfully, the risk of passing hep C from mother to baby is smallaround 5%, per the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine . How transmission occurs isnt fully understood, but data show it most often occurs around the time of birth. SMFM recommends health care providers avoid internal fetal monitoring, episiotomy, and prolonged rupture of membranes when managing labor in women with hep C, as these things may increase the risk of transmission to the baby.

    What Is Chronic Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C Stigma: " So, How

    Doctors refer to hepatitis C infections as either acute or chronic:

    • An acute HCV infection is a short-term illness that clears within 6 months of when a person is exposed to the virus.
    • A person who still has HCV after 6 months is said to have a chronic hepatitis C infection. This is a long-term illness, meaning the virus stays in the body and can cause lifelong illness. An estimated 3.2 million people in the U.S. have chronic HCV.

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    Risk Factor: Having Certain Medical Conditions

    Having certain medical conditions also increases the chance that you will get hepatitis C, according to the CDC. For example, people with HIV are at an increased riskagain, sexual transmission of hep C is more common if one partner already has HIV, Dr. Fox says. People with chronic kidney disease, for example, have higher rates of hep C than the general populationespecially those who have had hemodialysis treatment, per the National Kidney Foundation. Further, people with abnormal levels of the enzyme alanine aminotransferase are also more likely to be infected with hep C, according to the CDC.

    How Do You Get Hepatitis A

    The main way you get hepatitis A is when you eat or drink something that has the hep A virus in it. A lot of times this happens in a restaurant. If an infected worker there doesn’t wash their hands well after using the bathroom, and then touches food, they could pass the disease to you.

    Food or drinks you buy at the supermarket can sometimes cause the disease, too. The ones most likely to get contaminated are:

    • Shellfish
    • Ice and water

    You could catch or spread it if you’re taking care of a baby and you don’t wash your hands after changing their diaper. This can happen, for example, at a day care center.

    Another way you can get hep A is when you have sex with someone who has it.

    Recommended Reading: What Is Hepatitis B Caused By

    How Is Hepatitis C Infection Prevented

    Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. To reduce your risk of getting hepatitis C:

    • Injection drug use is the most common way people get hepatitis C. Avoid injecting drugs to reduce your risk. If you do inject drugs, use sterile injection equipment. Avoid reusing or sharing.
    • Avoid sharing personal care items that might have blood on them
    • If you are a health care or public safety worker, follow universal blood/body fluid precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps
    • Consider the risks if you are thinking about tattooing, body piercing, or acupuncture are the instruments properly sterilized?
    • If youre having sex with more than one partner, use latex condoms correctly and every time to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis C.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

    From Cirrhosis to a Hepatitis C Cure | William’s Story

    Most people infected with hepatitis C have no symptoms. Some people with an acute hepatitis C infection may have symptoms within 1 to 3 months after they are exposed to the virus. These symptoms may include

    If you have chronic hepatitis C, you most likely will have no symptoms until complications develop, which could be decades after you were infected. For this reason, hepatitis C screening is important, even if you have no symptoms.

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    What Are The Chances Of Getting Hepatitis C From Sex

    Hepatitis C can spread through sexual intercourse, but it’s rare. And it’s extremely rare among monogamous couples. In fact, the CDC considers the risk of sexual transmission between monogamous couples so low that it doesn’t even recommend using condoms. Also, there’s no evidence that hepatitis C is spread by oral sex. But you should avoid sharing razors, toothbrushes, and nail clippers, and sex during menstruation.

    If you have HIV or if you have multiple partners, you should take precautions. Using condoms will protect you and your partners.

    How Common Is Hepatitis C In The United States

    In the United States, hepatitis C is the most common chronic viral infection found in blood and spread through contact with blood.14

    Researchers estimate that about 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C.13 Many people who have hepatitis C dont have symptoms and dont know they have this infection.

    Since 2006, the number of new hepatitis C infections has been rising, especially among people younger than age 30 who inject heroin or misuse prescription opioids and inject them.15,16

    New screening efforts and more effective hepatitis C treatments are helping doctors identify and cure more people with the disease. With more screening and treatment, hepatitis C may become less common in the future. Researchers estimate that hepatitis C could be a rare disease in the United States by 2036.17

    Read Also: What Is Autoimmune Hepatitis C

    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Hcv Infection

    Most people with HCV have no symptoms. But even without symptoms, they can develop health problems decades later and can still pass the disease to others.

    If symptoms do happen, it’s usually when the disease is very advanced. Symptoms can be similar to those of hepatitis A and hepatitis B and include:

    • jaundice
    • fever
    • darker than usual urine or gray-colored stools

    Can Hepatitis C Be Prevented

    Why Do I Feel Worse After Hepatitis C Treatment?

    There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. But you can help protect yourself from hepatitis C infection by

    • Not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
    • Wearing gloves if you have to touch another person’s blood or open sores
    • Making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools and unopened ink
    • Not sharing personal items such toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
    • Using a latex condom during sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.

    NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

    Read Also: What Are The Early Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

    So Raising Awareness About Getting Tested Now Is Important

    Absolutely. Most adults recognize the value of health screenings for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, for example, but many dont realize the importance of screening for hepatitis C. Its the most common reason Americans get liver transplants. And as baby boomers get older, more people who have hepatitis Cdiagnosed or undiagnosedare getting sicker. Its a serious health issue, which is why you should get checked and prevent the spread. Talk to your doctor about getting screened for hepatitis C.

    Common Respiratory Virus Manipulates Immune Genes To Protect Itself: Findings Could Lead To Better Therapies For Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

    • Get link

    Nearly everyone gets infected with respiratory syncytial virus repeatedly over the course of a lifetime, starting in childhood. Most times, people fight off the virus handily and only end up with a mild cold. But some people — most often young children experiencing their first infection or older adults whose immunity has waned — develop pneumonia or bronchiolitis, serious lung infections that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.

    Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have figured out how the virus undermines the body’s defenses, a step toward understanding why the virus is capable of causing serious illness in vulnerable populations. They discovered that the virus produces a protein — called nonstructural protein 1, or NS1 — that slips inside the nucleus and alters the activity of immune genes, sabotaging the immune response.

    The findings, published Oct. 12 in Cell Reports, point toward new strategies to prevent or treat RSV infection, and may even provide clues to why severe cases of RSV put people at elevated risk of developing asthma.

    RSV is a very common virus. Every year in the U.S., about 58,000 children under age 5 are hospitalized due to RSV infection, and 100 to 500 infected children die. Children who survive a serious case of RSV are 30% to 40% more likely than the general population to develop recurrent wheezing or asthma. The virus also kills about 14,000 older adults every year.

    • Get link

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