What Is Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C And Health
How can health-care personnel avoid exposure to HCV?
Avoiding occupational exposure to blood is the primary way to prevent transmission of bloodborne illnesses among health-care personnel. To promote blood safety in the workplace, health-care personnel should consult infectious-disease control guidance from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and from CDC. Depending on the medical procedure involved, Standard Precautions may include the appropriate use of personal protective equipment .
What is the risk of acquiring hepatitis C after being accidentally exposed to HCV-contaminated blood or body fluids in the workplace?
Although sharps injuries have decreased in recent decades due to improved prevention measures, they continue to occur, placing health-care personnel at risk for several bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis C. A recent analysis of several studies revealed an overall 0.2% risk for infection among those exposed to HCV-antibody-positive blood through needlestick or sharps injuries . Updated guidelines for management and treatment of hepatitis Cexternal icon are available to provide guidance for health-care personnel who become infected via exposure to contaminated blood at the workplace.
Other than needlesticks, do other exposures place health-care personnel at risk for hepatitis C?
Should HCV-infected health-care personnel be restricted in their work?
Psychosocial Factors And Hepatitis C
The chronic nature and individual experience of the disease are conditioning factors on QoL, with clinical and social implications, due not only to the diagnostic but also to its evolution . Several studies have stated that chronic hepatitis C may lead to several complications anddespite the fact that most of the patients with HCV are asymptomatic, they consistently report a significant reduction in health-related QoL, when compared with the general population .
Psychosocial chronic stressors are well documented as determinants of poor mental and physical health, leading to an important burden in health systems, mortality, morbidity, and psychological wellbeing, predominantly in developed societies . The relationship between physical mental and social health as well as the uncertainties about treatment and HCV have been well documented, both in the past and in recent literature . Emotional distress and depressive disorders have been reported in untreated HCV patients, pointing to a possible role of the virus itself in their occurrence . Furthermore, studies suggest that a deficiency of social relationships is a significant risk factor for broad-based morbidity and mortality as well as negative implications for health . Whether these disorders are due to the uncertainty of living with a chronic disease with potentially life-threatening complications or to other psychosocial factors, remains under discussion.
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Articles On Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a sneaky virus. You may not have any symptoms at all. Most people donât. This is one if the reasons, along with treatability now, that all adults are recommended to get tested. Your doctor could check your liver and see only a little damage. You’re usually not diagnosed until they spot a problem with your liver enzymes after a routine blood test.
Can Hepatitis Be Treated
Today, hepatitis management is applicable through different medications and the blood product intravenous immunoglobulin for temporary immunity. However, specific antiviral effects like a nucleotide polymerase inhibitor work in slowing down the virus. Although there are famous names like Ledipasvir with sofosbuvir and Pegylated interferon and ribavirin, some of these medications arent prescribed anymore. However, modern medical technology is changing chronic liver diseases using oral tablets taken every day for at least two to six months.
Ask your pharmacist or your current liver doctor to know if certain drugs arent verified with FDA or harmful to your health status.
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How Is Hepatitis C Treated
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. The aim of treatment for hepatitis C is to eradicate the virus from the blood completely, and to protect the liver from developing cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Several medications are available to treat hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus has six different types or strains . The type and length of treatment may vary. Some hepatitis strains do not respond to antiviral medications as well as others. Some medications may not be suitable for all patients with hepatitis C, because of the side effects or the patients other medical conditions.
These are the medications approved for treatment of hepatitis C infection:
- Sofosbuvir : Tablet taken once a day. Used in combination with other antiviral drugs.
- Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir : Pill taken once a day for 12 to 24 weeks, depending on how serious the disease is.
- Simeprevir : Capsule taken once a day with other medications called peginterferon alfa and ribavirin
- Combination of paritaprevir/ombitasvir/ritonavir/dasabuvir
- Daclatasvir : Used in combination with other drugs
- Elbasvir/grazoprevir : Tablet taken once a day
- Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir : Tablet taken once a day
- Glecaprevir/pibrentasvir : Three pills a day in one dose
- Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir : Tablet taken once a day
- Ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir : Two tablets once a day in the morning, in combination with ribavirin
Vaccination Against Hepatitis A
Vaccination against hepatitis A isnt routinely offered in the UK because the risk of infection is low for most people.
Its only recommended for people at an increased risk, including:
- close contacts of someone with hepatitis A
- people planning to travel to or live in parts of the world where hepatitis A is widespread, particularly if levels of sanitation and food hygiene are expected to be poor
- people with any type of long-term liver disease
- men who have sex with other men
- people who inject illegal drugs
- people who may be exposed to hepatitis A through their job this includes sewage workers, staff of institutions where levels of personal hygiene may be poor and people working with monkeys, apes and gorillas
The hepatitis A vaccine is usually available for free on the NHS for anyone who needs it.
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What Is Hepatitis C Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, and hepatitis C is liver inflammation caused by the hepatitis C virus .
Journal of Clinical MicrobiologyJournal of Infectious Diseases
Though these genotypes appear to affect people similarly, they respond differently to treatments, and it’s possible to be infected with more than one HCV genotype at the same time.
Whatever the genotype, hepatitis C is considered either acute or chronic .
Dermatologic Manifestations Of Hcv Infection
Primary dermatologic disorders associated with chronic hepatitis C infection
Sterling RK, Bralow S. Extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C virus. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2006 Feb. 8:53-9. .
Metts J, Carmichael L, Kokor W, Scharffenberg R. Hepatitis C: extrahepatic manifestations. FP Essent. 2014 Dec. 427:32-5. .
Kolopp-Sarda MN, Miossec P. Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis: pathophysiological mechanisms and diagnosis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2021 Jan. 33 :1-7. .
Fachinelli LR, Silva EC, Figueiredo MG, Possa MS, Pelegrinelli FF, Molina RJ. Hepatitis C and cutaneous alterations. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2012 Dec. 45:770-3. .
Akhter A, Said A. Cutaneous manifestations of viral hepatitis. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2015 Feb. 17:452. .
Handler NS, Handler MZ, Stephany MP, Handler GA, Schwartz RA. Porphyria cutanea tarda: an intriguing genetic disease and marker. Int J Dermatol. 2017 Mar 21. .
Satta R, Pes GM, Quarta Colosso BM, Dore MP. Skin manifestations in patients with hepatitis C virus-related chronic liver disease. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 Feb 8. .
Maticic M. Lichen planus in hepatitis C virus infection: an early marker that may save lives. Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Panonica Adriat. 2007 Mar. 16:3-6. .
Halawani MR. Dermatological manifestations of hepatitis C virus infection in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2014 Jun. 35:531-7. .
Walczak-Koszela I, Sysa-Jdrzejowska A, Woniacka A. . Postepy Hig Med Dosw . 2015 Dec 9. 69:1325-30. .
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Symptoms Of An Acute Infection
Few people show symptoms during acute infection . These symptoms can include: fatigue tenderness or an aching feeling on the right side of the abdomen decreased appetite perhaps with weight loss flu-like symptoms nausea tendency to bruise or bleed easily jaundice rash dark-coloured urine and light or clay-coloured stools. These symptoms often go away after a short time.
Chronic Hepatitis C Symptoms
If you donât get diagnosed and treated, you could have the disease for years and not know it. Doctors call this the chronic form, because it lasts a long time. Some people who’ve had it for a while get scarring of the liver, which is called cirrhosis. or liver cancer.
In addition to the above symptoms, signs that your liver isnât working the way it should include:
- Ascites — fluid buildup in your belly
- Hepatic encephalopathy — confusion, drowsiness, and slurred speech
- Jaundice of the skin
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Easy Bruising And Bleeding
In the advanced stages of hepatitis C, you may see easy bruising and excessive bleeding for no apparent reason. Abnormal bruising is believed to be the result of the liver slowing the production of platelets, or proteins needed to clot blood.
In more serious cases, there can be excessive bleeding of the nose or gums, or blood in the urine.
What Is The Outlook
Most people with hepatitis A recover without any complications. Once youve had hepatitis A, you cant get it again. Antibodies to the virus will protect you for life.
Some people may be at an increased risk for serious illness from hepatitis A. These include:
acute hepatitis B infections in the United States in 2018.
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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.
Symptoms Of Infection With Hepatitis C
Symptoms of acute infection with hepatitis C
Acute infection is the period when you first contract the virus, during this period most people do not seem to experience any noticeable symptoms.
For the 25-35% of people who do, the symptoms are normally vague and non-specific.They can include: Abdominal pain Nausea and vomiting
About 20% of the people who develop symptoms experience jaundice. This can be seen in the yellowing of the skin and eyes. This is a sign of the livers functions being affected as bilirubin begins to build up in the body. Jaundice is a recognised sign of liver problems and may lead to a test for hepatitis C being suggested.The problem for most people is that they are unaware that they have been infected because of the lack of symptoms. As these symptoms are similar to many other short term infections most people are unlikely to seek medical attention.
And even when they do, most doctors will not necessarily suspect or test for hepatitis C.
Symptoms of chronic infection with hepatitis C
Chronic infection doesnt mean that you have symptoms, chronic means that the infection is ongoing, that you are living with the virus.
The hepatitis C virus is associated with a wide spectrum of liver disease. This ranges from minor inflammation to cirrhosis, and in certain cases liver cancer.
Pains in the upper part of the abdomen
Dry eyes, irritable bowel and irritable bladder
Do not assume that all of your aches and pains are related to hepatitis.
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Treatment And Medication Options For Hepatitis C
The last few years have seen extraordinary advances in the treatment of hepatitis C.
For decades, the standard treatment was a combination antiviral therapy consisting of a pegylated interferon and ribavirin, sometimes called PEG-riba therapy. This involved weekly injections of the pegylated interferons along with twice-daily oral doses of ribavirin. Sometimes interferon was prescribed without ribavirin.
The treatment by interferon lasted six months to a year, and cured only 40 to 50 percent of hepatitis C patients. The painful injections often made patients feel ill with flu-like symptoms.
But now, hepatitis C can be treated with a number of direct-acting antiviral pills that act faster and much more effectively than the older interferon treatment. These combination oral medicines have 90 to 100 percent cure rates, and they work in weeks instead of months. Some of these drugs may be used in combination with ribavirin.
How Long Does It Last
Hepatitis A can last from a few weeks to several months.
Hepatitis B can range from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to a serious, life-long condition. More than 90% of unimmunized infants who get infected develop a chronic infection, but 6%10% of older children and adults who get infected develop chronic hepatitis B.
Hepatitis C can range from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to a serious, life-long infection. Most people who get infected with the hepatitis C virus develop chronic hepatitis C.
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Early Hepatitis C Symptoms
Hepatitis C is typically transmitted through exposure to infected blood, which usually occurs through sharing needles. Many people with a new hepatitis C viral infection do not have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include:
These symptoms usually begin about two to 12 weeks after exposure to the virus.
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Hcv Treatment Can Also Cause Rashes
Tis is the frustrating part of hepatitis C treatments, the cure can also cause you to have she effects such as skin rashes. This is most commonly experienced when treatments are injected into the skin. The injection site developing a rash as an irritated response to the treatment.
Hydrocortisone creams and even cold packs and compresses can help to alleviate the th redness and itchy feeling as the rash subsides.
If you start to see rashes appear that are not at the injeption site, you MUST see your doctor as soon as possible
- cognitive problems such as memory loss, confusion or concentration difficulties.
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Other Signs Of Hepatitis C On Your Skin
Rashes and lesions may be common, but theyre not the only ways that hepatitis C can affect your skin. These are some other possible manifestations of hepatitis C on your skin, which can include:
- General itchy skin, also known as pruritis
- Lichen planus, which are little purple or reddish-purple flat bumps that can develop in a variety of places on your body, including your skin, mouth, genitalia, hair follicles, and nails
- Blisters and sensitive skin as a result of a condition called porphyria cutanea tarda
- Spider angiomas, which look like a spiderweb of thin blood vessels spreading across your skin
- Necrolytic acral erythema, series of dusky-colored skin plaques, which is rare but can be an early sign of hep C infection
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Appendix I Guiding Questions For Phase 1 Interviews
- 1.How do you personally define quality of life?
- 2.What physical effects, if any, do you experience in relation to chronic hepatitis C infection?
- 3.Are there problems with sleeping, like trouble getting to sleep, anxious waking, or waking up tired?
- 4.If you experience fatigue, what kinds of things can you do to help you cope?
- 5.Does hepatitis C affect your ability to concentrate or remember things?
- 6.Have you noticed whether hepatitis C affects your moods?
- 7.How does living with hepatitis C impact on your social life?
- 8.What about work, or the ability to do things that you would normally do?
- 9.What are the main economic costs of having this infection?
- 10.How do you decide whom to tell about your hepatitis C?
- 11.Does living with this virus affect intimate, personal relationships, including sex life?
- 12.Do many people with hepatitis C suffer from discrimination?
- 13.What do you think is behind the discrimination around hepatitis C?
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Sometimes The Infection Goes Away On Its Own
Acute hepatitis is C is a short-term illness that occurs within the first six months after being exposed to the virus. Like the human papillomavirus , early acute hepatitis C can clear on its own without treatment this happens about 25% of the time.
However, its more likely that the virus will remain in your body longer than six months, at which point its considered to be chronic hepatitis C infection.
Being younger or a woman tends to be a factor in whether the virus clears on its own, and genetics may play a role, Reau says. But we cant determine with certainty which people are certain to clear the infection and which arent.