What Are Hepatitis Cs Causes And Symptoms
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, per healthline.com, the hepatitis C virus is most commonly transferred from one person to another via the sharing of needles .
Using someone elses razor, toothbrush, and even nail clippers also carries a hepatitis C risk, although casual contact such as hugging, or holding or shaking hands, isnt believed to pass the virus from one person to another. Theres also about a 4 percent chance that a mother infected with hepatitis C will pass the virus on to her baby, per healthline.com.
If and when the hepatitis C virus becomes active in a persons body and the incubation period can be as long as 15 years, per ayushremedies.in symptoms can include the following, per livealittlelonger.com. Some of these can often be overlooked or rationalized away because they are also typical of the flu:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Other symptoms can include bruising or bleeding easily, diarrhea, joint pain, weight loss, itchy skin, and confusion.
If you suspect you have the disease, its vital that you see a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and a plan for treatment and prescription medications , if needed. A simple blood test can tell you if you have hepatitis C.
If caught early enough, any related damage to your liver which happens to be your bodys biggest gland, per ayushremedies.in is reversible. Its also important to know that hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer, per draxe.com.
What Are The Treatments For Hepatitis C
Treatment for hepatitis C is with antiviral medicines. They can cure the disease in most cases.
If you have acute hepatitis C, your health care provider may wait to see if your infection becomes chronic before starting treatment.
If your hepatitis C causes cirrhosis, you should see a doctor who specializes in liver diseases. Treatments for health problems related to cirrhosis include medicines, surgery, and other medical procedures. If your hepatitis C leads to liver failure or liver cancer, you may need a liver transplant.
Treatment Efficacy With Currently Available Drugs
The development of new generation DAAs with much higher SVR rates has dramatically improved the prospects for people infected with HCV. SVR directly affects clinical outcomes and survival, lowering all cause mortality, as shown in cohort studies and meta-analysis. A recent meta-analysis found that mortality rates in those with SVR after IFN-containing regimens, compared with those without SVR, decreased by 6284%, varying by cirrhosis and co-infection with HIV. The risk of HCC after 5 years was reduced from 9.3% to 2.9% in mono-infected patients, from 13.9% to 5.3% in patients with cirrhosis and from 10% to 0.9% in HIV co-infected patients. Risk of LT within 5 years for patients with cirrhosis reduced from 7.3% to 0.2%. SVR is also associated with a reduction in extrahepatic disease associated with HCV such as diabetes, kidney impairment, non-Hodgkins lymphoma and cardiovascular complications.,
It will be necessary to follow patients treated successfully with DAA-based therapy to establish the long-term clinical benefits. But even so, these data provide a strong argument for HCV treatment, given the high cost of treating liver cancer and of liver transplantation.
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Who Is At Risk Of Getting Hepatitis C
Those at risk of getting hepatitis C include people who:
- received a blood transfusion before 1992
- have had tattoos or body piercing, especially in unlicensed facilities or with unsterile equipment
- have had a needle stick injury in the course of their work, such as health professionals who have been accidentally pierced with a used needle
- have lived in, or received healthcare, in South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East or Eastern Europe
- have been in prison and used unsterile needles or been involved in unsafe tattooing practice
- have lived in close contact with a person diagnosed with hepatitis C
- were born to a mother with hepatitis C .
While sexual transmission of hepatitis C is rare, it is possible. Having a sexually transmitted disease or HIV, sex with multiple partners or rough sex appears to increase a persons risk for hepatitis C.
A Researcher Reflects On Progress Fighting Hepatitis C And A Path Forward
The hepatitis C virus was discovered in 1989 research thats now earned a Nobel Prize.
When I began my medical career in Hong Kong in the early 1980s, I chose to focus on hepatitis B, in part because it was very common and because the hepatitis C virus had not yet been discovered. I witnessed the devastation that this virus caused cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer and the lack of treatments we could offer to patients.
Back then, scientists knew there was another type of hepatitis, but no one could identify it, so we called it non-A, non-B hepatitis. I would never have imagined that during the course of my career I would witness the discovery of what came to be known as hep C and the development of a cure for nearly all patients with chronic hepatitis C in 2014.
Underscoring the importance of these discoveries for global human health, this years Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.
Effective treatment for hepatitis C has become even more relevant today in light of the recent surge in new cases of hepatitis C due to rising opioid use.
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How Can I Cover Medication Costs
New therapies called direct-acting antivirals are effective and can achieve cures of over 90%. Because these new therapies are very new, they remain very expensive. As such, drug coverage from both government and private companies may require that your liver disease has progressed to a certain stage before they are willing to cover the cost of these drugs.
Talk with your healthcare provider about financial support that may be available.
Below are useful resources when looking for financial assistance:Private health insurance or drug plansIf you have private health insurance or a drug plan at work, you may be able to have the medication paid through your plan. Please consult your private health insurance or drug plan provider to see if your drug is covered.
Publicly funded plansEach provincial and territorial government offers a drug benefit plan for eligible groups. Some are income-based universal programs. Most have specific programs for population groups that may require more enhanced coverage for high drug costs. These groups include seniors, recipients of social assistance, and individuals with diseases or conditions that are associated with high drug costs. For more details, please contact your provincial or territorial health care ministry, or click on the appropriate link below.
Available Patient Assistance Programs for Hepatitis C treatment Holkira Pak Maviret
MerckCare Hepatitis C Program 1 872-5773 Zepatier
Can Hepatitis C Be Cured
Considerable progress has been made by past clinical trials in the medical treatment of hepatitis C. The rate of cure has increased with the development of direct-acting, all-oral antiviral regimens, and the length of therapy is much shorter. Treatment recommendations continue to change as new medicines become available. Treatment helps to reduce progression of liver damage to cirrhosis, may prevent liver cancer, and may prevent spread of the infection to other people.
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Interpretations Of Diagnostic Results
The presence of HCV RNA in the absence of anti-HCV antibodies is strongly indicative of acute hepatitis C , which can be confirmed by seroconversion a few days or weeks later .4). However, there are still other possibilities for the presence of HCV RNA in the absence of anti-HCV antibodies, e.g., CHC infection in the immunodepressed patients, hemodialysis patients or agammaglobulinemic subjects.
Possible diagnostic results for hepatitis C virus infection. Individuals are in high risk, e.g., persons who have been exposed to HCV persons with elevated alanine aminotransferase persons who are immunocompromised. HCV: Hepatitis C virus.
The presence of both anti-HCV and HCV RNA does not allow one to distinguish AHC from an acute exacerbation of CHC. However, the anti-HCV IgG avidity index within the first 8 d following the onset of clinical symptoms may be useful in identifying actual AHC.
If the antibody test is positive and the HCV RNA test is negative, this result indicates a resolution of HCV infection or AHC during a period of low-level viremia. If the HCV RNA assay is negative and remains negative for more than 6 mo, then the individuals are recovered from a past HCV infection.
CHC is defined as the persistence of HCV RNA for more than 6 mo. In patients with clinical signs of chronic liver disease, CHC is certain when both anti-HCV antibodies and HCV RNA are present.
Is There A Way To Prevent Hepatitis C
Although currently theres no vaccine to protect people from contracting hepatitis C, there are vaccines for other hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
If you receive a hepatitis C diagnosis, your healthcare provider may advise you to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
The vaccinations are recommended because these hepatitis viruses can lead to additional health and liver complications, especially in those with preexisting liver disease.
Since you cant prevent hepatitis C through a vaccine, the best prevention is to avoid exposure. Hepatitis C is a bloodborne pathogen, so you can limit your chances of exposure through these healthy lifestyle practices:
- Avoid sharing needles, razor blades, or nail clippers.
- Use proper safety precautions if youll be exposed to bodily fluids, such as when performing first aid.
- Hepatitis C isnt usually transmitted through sexual contact, but its possible. Limit your exposure by practicing sex with a condom or other barrier method. Its also important to openly communicate with sexual partners and to get tested if you suspect youve been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.
Because hepatitis C is transmitted through blood, its possible to contract it through a blood transfusion.
However, since the early 1990s, blood product screening tests have been standard protocol for minimizing the risk of this type of transmission.
Subsequent testing is based on risk. Talk to your doctor about your needs.
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Outcomes And Hcv Treatment
There is no treatment recommended for acute hep C infection however, patients should be monitored to see if the infection becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis C can cause liver cancer or cirrhosis and is the most common reason for liver transplants in this country. The CDC estimates that of every 100 people infected with HCV, 75 to 85 will develop chronic infection, and 10 to 20 will develop cirrhosis within 20 or 30 years. Of 100 people who have hepatitis C and have developed cirrhosis, between three and six will develop liver failure each year and between one and five will develop liver cancer each year. There were 18,153 deaths related to HCV reported to the CDC in 2016, but this is likely an underestimate.
A whole new class of medication, called direct-acting antivirals , was introduced in 2011. The first two drugs to be introduced — boceprevir and telaprevir — improved the outcomes dramatically but still required patients to take interferon. About 70% of patients achieved sustained virologic response on the first generation of DAAs.
Then in 2014, Gilead Sciences introduced ledipasvir/sofosbuvir , which had a 99% SVR rate with a 12-week regimen and did not need to be combined with interferon injections. Newer DAAs have been introduced since that time, including sofosbuvir/velpatasvir and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir , also made by Gilead, elbasvir/grazoprevir by Merck, and glecaprevir/pibrentasvir from AbbVie.
Hepatitis C Management In Primary Care
- A new direct-acting antiviral oral regimen for the treatment of hepatitis C, glecaprevir + pibrentasvir will be subsidised without restriction from 1 February, 2019.
- Treatment with glecaprevir + pibrentasvir is simpler than with Viekira Pak regimens and patients with hepatitis C should now predominantly receive treatment in primary care.
- Glecaprevir + pibrentasvir can be prescribed to patients with hepatitis C virus infection due to any of the HCV genotypes.
- Glecaprevir + pibrentasvir is taken as a once daily regimen of three tablets, for eight weeks, regardless of HCV genotype.
- Glecaprevir + pibrentasvir can be prescribed to patients infected with any HCV genotype, therefore genotype testing prior to initiating treatment is no longer required.
- Ribavirin is not required for patients with genotype 1a infection receiving glecaprevir + pibrentasvir treatment.
- Patients should present prescriptions for glecaprevir + pibrentasvir to an enrolled pharmacy.
- Viekira Pak regimens will be delisted.
- Ledipasvir + sofosbuvir continues to be subsidised for patients with advanced disease.
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The Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine is one of the most effective ways to prevent hepatitis B. Its usually divided into three doses, which are given over the course of six months. In many countries, infants receive their first dose of the vaccine at birth.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all children under the age of 19 be vaccinated if they havent already received the vaccination. Adults can also get the hepatitis B vaccine, and its generally recommended if you have an increased risk of infection due to:
- traveling to or living in a region where hepatitis B is common
- being sexually active with more than one partner
- working in a medical setting
- using intravenous drugs
If youve been exposed to the hepatitis B virus and havent been vaccinated, try to see a doctor right away. They can administer the first dose of the vaccine, though youll need to follow up to receive the remaining doses over the next few months.
They can also prescribe a medication called
How Is Hepatitis C Spread
Hepatitis C spreads through contact with the blood of someone who has HCV. This contact may be through:
- Sharing drug needles or other drug materials with someone who has HCV. In the United States, this is the most common way that people get hepatitis C.
- Getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on someone who has HCV. This can happen in health care settings.
- Being tattooed or pierced with tools or inks that were not sterilized after being used on someone who has HCV
- Having contact with the blood or open sores of someone who has HCV
- Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another person’s blood, such as razors or toothbrushes
- Being born to a mother with HCV
- Having unprotected sex with someone who has HCV
Before 1992, hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Since then, there has been routine testing of the U.S. blood supply for HCV. It is now very rare for someone to get HCV this way.
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Spread Of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact when blood from a person with hepatitis C enters another persons bloodstream.
The most common way people become infected with hepatitis C in Australia is by sharing injecting equipment such as needles, syringes, spoons and tourniquets. It is possible to be infected with hepatitis C after only one risk event.
Hepatitis C may also be spread through:
- tattooing and body piercing with equipment that has not been properly cleaned, disinfected or sterilised such as backyard tattoos’. Registered parlours with appropriate infection control procedures are not a risk
- needlestick injuries in a healthcare setting
- receiving blood transfusions in Australia prior to 1990 before hepatitis C virus testing of blood donations was introduced
- medical procedures, blood transfusions or blood products and mass immunisation programs provided in a country other than Australia
- pregnancy or childbirth there is a 5% chance of a mother with chronic hepatitis C infection passing on the virus to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
Breastfeeding is safe, however if nipples are cracked or bleeding cease breastfeeding until they have healed.
Less likely possible routes of transmission of hepatitis C include:
Hepatitis C cannot be transmitted by:
- sharing food, cups or cutlery
- shaking hands or day-to-day physical contact.
Im Cured A Story About Overcoming Hepatitis C In Argentina
For World Hepatitis Day, Diego Villoldo relates how he overcame the hepatitis infection. A journey from despondent resignation to a new lease of life.
Buenos Aires, July 2019 Im cured, said Diego Villoldo with a big smile after getting the results of his treatment for hepatitis C, which he received at a hospital in the city of Buenos Aires. Diagnosed in 2007, it had been a long and at times rocky road, but within three months the new revolutionary treatment allowed him to look toward a bright new future now devoted to his interest in music.
I am a luthier. I make string instruments, so I have always been connected with music through my work, but I started to think more seriously about what I want to do. I knew that I wanted to play music, so thats what Im doing, said Diego, who works in a shop in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of San Telmo.
Today, he says that he has always looked forward in life, but a few years ago all that changed dramatically when recieved his diagnosis. When I found out that I had hepatitis C, I started drinking and resigned myself to live the however many days of life I had left, but a year later I had an accident where I fell from the second floor and was in intensive care for 11 days. I left hospital with a new lease of life knowing that I had gotten a second chance, he recalls.
When I found out that I had hepatitis C, I started drinking and resigned myself to live however many days of life I had left.
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