What Is Hepatitis C Again
Hepatitis is, essentially, inflammation of the liver, and when your liver is inflamed or damaged, it won’t function the way it should, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which means that it may not help your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons the way it’s meant to.
There are three major forms of hepatitis that are more common in the US: hepatitis A, B, and Ceach of which is spread through a different virus. It can also be caused by drug or alcohol use, per the US National Library of Medicine .
Hepatitis C in particular can be divided into two categories: acute and chronic. Acute hepatitis C happens within the first six months after you’re exposed to the hepatitis C virus, the CDC says, and some people’s bodies are able to fight off the infectionsymptoms of which can include dark yellow urine, fatigue, fever, and jaundice. But even the acute version of hepatitis C can lead to a chronic infection for up to 85 percent of people who are infected, per CDC data.
“Chronic hepatitis C can be a lifelong illness that can cause severe health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death,” says infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
“Generally speaking, people become infected with hepatitis C through blood-to-blood contact with an infected personthat can include blood transfusions, organ transplants, and IV drug use,” says Dr. Adalja.
International Health / Travel Insurance
We are strongly recommending you to have a health or travel insurance when travelling abroad so that you definitely don’t have to worry about your health if something wrong happen. The costs are determined based on the countries you visit, duration of the trip and your age.
Medical services are generally not expensive in Thailand, but the bill can be very high if you go to a private hospital. Bills from doctors and hospitals in Thailand must be paid immediately in cash or by credit card. You can then get the costs reimbursed in most cases if you have appropriate insurance cover for abroad. Also, make sure that your insurance covers you as well in the event of an accident.
To make your trip worry-free, get your travel insurance from AXA Thailand that is offering a special insurance for travelers to Thailand: Sawasdee Thailand
What Do Hepatitis B And C Have In Common
Hepatitis is a family of viruses that infect the liver. While hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C can all cause short-term infections, hepatitis B and C can also lead to chronic, long-term infections that severely damage the liver over time. This can cause cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, liver-related cancer, or complete liver failure, especially if you have hepatitis B.
Both the hepatitis B and C viruses can lead to mild infections that your immune system can fight off. But, in over half of all cases, the infection doesnt go away, and the virus remains in your body for a much longer period.
You might not experience any symptoms during a chronic hepatitis B or C infection. But because hepatitis is contagious, you may inadvertently transmit it to others. That’s why its very important to get tested if you think that you might have been exposed.
If you’ve had a long-term infection, the effects of hepatitis B or C may not surface until many years sometimes decades later. One of the first effects you might feel involve damage to your liver. Generally speaking, the younger you are at the time of a viral hepatitis infection, the more likely that it’ll become chronic.
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Why Do We Need A Vaccine To Prevent Hiv
Today, more people living with HIV than ever before have access to life-saving treatment with HIV medicines , which is good for their health. When people with HIV take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, they can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partnersthrough sex. In addition, people who are HIV-negative and who are at risk for HIV infection can take pre-exposure prophylaxis , HIV medicine used to prevent HIV. Yet, unfortunately, in 2020 , an estimated 30,403 new HIV infections occurred in the United States, and approximately 1.5 million people newly acquired HIV worldwide. To control and ultimately end HIV globally, we need a powerful array of HIV prevention tools that are widely accessible to all who would benefit from them.
Vaccines historically have been the most effective means to prevent and even eradicate infectious diseases. They safely and cost-effectively prevent illness, disability, and death. Like smallpox and polio vaccines, a preventive HIV vaccine could help save millions of lives.
Developing safe, effective, and affordable vaccines that can prevent HIV infection in uninfected people is the NIHâs highest HIV research priority given its game-changing potential for controlling and ultimately ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Bloodborne Pathogens Trivia Questions
Do you know about bloodborne pathogens? Try answering all these trivia questions from the quiz below to test your knowledge regarding bloodborne pathogens. These are microorganisms that are present in the body and cause diseases in humans, and are transmitted through the bloodstream. For it to spread, the body fluids of an infected person must enter the bloodstream of another person, and it occurs mostly through an open wound. Take the quiz below and see how enough you know about bloodborne pathogens.
- There is currently no vaccination available for Hepatitis B.
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So Why Isnt There A Vaccine For Hepatitis C
There are vaccines available for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, but not for hepatitis Cmainly because all viruses are so different. “Even though they’re all called hepatitis, they’re different viruses and each has its own challenges to making a vaccine,” says Dr. Adalja.
Hepatitis C in particular has been tricky to create an effective vaccine against. “It’s more of a scientific challenge because the hepatitis C virus has the capacity to mutate and change,” says William Schaffner, M.D., an Infectious Disease Specialist and Professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
“Hepatitis C is also difficult to find a vaccine for because people can be re-infected with the virus after they’ve had it in the past,” Dr. Adalja says. Still, Dr. Schaffner says, “a hepatitis C vaccine is highly desired.”
That’s why a hepatitis C vaccine is “underway,” per the CDCbut it could be a while before one is ready for use. “We’re probably talking eight to 10 years,” says Dr. Schaffner.
Until then, the NLM says you can protect yourself by wearing gloves if you ever have to come into contact with another person’s blood, making sure tattoo or piercing artists use sterilized tools, not sharing personal items like toothbrushes or razors, and never sharing drug needles or other drug materials.
Medical Care In Thailand
Basically, medical care in the country has high standard. All major cities in Thailand such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket have main government hospitals, private hospitals and also many international medical clinics. There are also private hospitals and clinics on smaller islands, so basic care is definitely available everywhere.
The pharmacies in Thailand sell almost all medicines over the counter and they can be easily purchased. The prescription rules are not very strict. For little things, you don’t have to go to a doctor.
It is no problem to bring regular medicine on your trip to Thailand. However, if you are using strong painkillers or other specific medications, you will probably need a special certificate from your doctor.
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Transmission Symptoms And Treatment
How is HBV transmitted?
HBV is transmitted through activities that involve percutaneous or mucosal contact with infectious blood or body fluids , including
- sex with a partner who has HBV infection
- injection drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment
- birth to a person who has HBV infection
- contact with blood from or open sores on a person who has HBV infection
- exposures to needle sticks or sharp instruments and
- sharing certain items with a person who has HBV infection that can break the skin or mucous membranes , potentially resulting in exposure to blood.
How long does HBV survive outside the body?
HBV can survive outside the body and remains infectious for at least 7 days .
What should be used to clean environmental surfaces potentially contaminated with HBV?
Any blood spills should be disinfected using a 1:10 dilution of one part household bleach to 9 parts water. Gloves should be worn when cleaning up any blood spills.
Who is at risk for HBV infection?
The following populations are at increased risk for becoming infected with HBV:
- Infants born to people with HBV infection
- Sex partners of people with HBV infection
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
- Household contacts or sexual partners of known people with chronic HBV infection
- Health care and public safety workers at risk for occupational exposure to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids
- Patients on hemodialysis
Who should be screened for HBV?
Hcv Presents Research Challenges
Although research has made great strides, studying HCV is still challenging. This can hamper vaccine development and testing.
Were still trying to get more information on the immune response to HCV. Because some people clear HCV after an acute infection, researchers can study the immune response in these people to find factors important to clearing the virus and apply them to vaccine development.
Despite the knowledge weve gained from this research, only one vaccine has made it to phase 2 clinical trials. More on that later.
Learning more about immunity isnt the only research challenge for HCV vaccine development. Some others include:
- a lack of good laboratory or animal models that can be used to study HCV infection
- a need for established markers that indicate protection from chronic hepatitis C, which can be used to determine vaccine effectiveness in clinical trials
- less research infrastructure where hepatitis C is prevalent, especially in marginalized populations
- a decrease in funding for HCV vaccine research, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic
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Hcv Is An Escape Artist
HCV is also very good at getting away from the immune system. For example, proteins found on the outside of viruses are typically good targets for vaccines. In HCV, these proteins are called envelope proteins.
Additionally, a large number of subviral particles can be present in an HCV infection. These are particles that have the HCV envelope proteins but lack the genetic material needed to make more copies of the virus.
A suggests subviral particles significantly outnumber actual HCV particles. Because of this, they can serve as an effective decoy for the immune system.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
You may not realize that you’ve come in contact with hepatitis B or C because oftentimes there aren’t any symptoms. You should get tested if you’ve been in any situation that presents a risk of infection, like sharing needles. The CDC also recommends that all pregnant women get tested for hepatitis C.
Some people can be allergic to the hepatitis B vaccine, so you should also see your doctor if you experience any bad reactions after getting one of the doses.
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The Hepatitis B Vaccine
The first version of the hepatitis B vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1981. Since the early 1990s, the World Health Organization has recommended that all countries add the vaccine to their public immunization plans.
Several types of approved hepatitis B vaccines are available, including one suitable for people of all ages, from infants to adults. The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone under age 19 get the vaccine, with infants receiving the first dose at birth. The agency also recommends that most adults get the vaccine, especially those who:
- have sexual or common household contact with someone with hepatitis B
- have more than one sexual partner
- have experienced sexual abuse
- are likely to be in contact with blood and bodily fluids at work
- have other liver conditions, including hepatitis C
- are being treated for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV
The most common version of the vaccine requires three separate doses. There’s also a version that the FDA approved for adults that only requires two doses.
You can get the hepatitis B vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. You’ll never catch hepatitis B from the vaccine.
Combination vaccines also exist that protect against both hepatitis A and B. Once you’re vaccinated against hepatitis B, you should be immune for the rest of your life and won’t need a booster.
What Is The Recommended Vaccine Schedule For Hepatitis B
The recommended vaccine schedule for PreHevbrio includes three doses over the course of 6 months. The first dose is at 0 months, the second dose is at 1 month, and the third and final dose is at 6 months.
Heplisav-B is also approved for adults 18 years of age and older. It requires two doses administered 1 month apart.
Engerix-B and Recombivax HB are approved for vaccination starting at birth and are available for both pediatric and adult populations. Administration varies between 2 to 3 doses depending on age but generally follows a schedule of 6 months.
Depending on the number of doses, these vaccines are typically administered at 0, 12, and 46 months following the start of the vaccination process.
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Department Of Health Green Book Immunisation Guidance
Final decisions on immunisation should be made on the basis of a local risk assessment. In settings where the workplace task is likely to lead to significant exposures on a regular basis , the DH Green Book indicates that it would be prudent to offer immunisation to staff even in the absence of documented HBV transmission.
A safe and effective vaccine for the prevention of hepatitis B infection is available, and any requirement for it will be determined as part of the risk assessment described previously. Further details are available from the DH Green Book.
Pre-exposure immunisation against HBV is strongly advised for all workers who may be exposed to blood, body fluids or tissues as part of their work activity. Within the Green Book, the UK Department of Health identifies those workers who are at increased risk, and recommends immunisation.
Advice on schedules for vaccine administration, assessment of response to immunisation, management of non – and sub-optimal responders to vaccine, and the requirement for booster doses is also provided in the DH Green Book.
There are currently no vaccines available against hepatitis C or HIV, although there are measures that can be taken following exposure, which may prevent the development of infection, see: Incidents in the workplace overview.
Hepatitis Vaccine: What You Need To Know
Hepatitis is an inflammatory liver condition. There are five types of viral hepatitis: A, B, C,D, and E. Most cases are caused by a hepatitis virus. The condition can also be a result of excessive alcohol or drug use or a faulty inflammatory immune response that occurs when the immune system mistakes the liver as a threat to the body and begins to attack it.
There are two hepatitis vaccines that can help prevent hepatitis A and B infections. A third vaccine, developed for hepatitis E, is only permitted for use in China. This article discusses the types of hepatitis that can be prevented with a vaccine and what you need to know before getting one.
Verywell / Michela Buttignol
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How Will A Hepatitis C Vaccine Work
Overall, vaccines work by introducing your immune system to a microbe. In the case of viruses, this can be in the form of a whole virus or just a single component of a virus, such as a protein.
To date, many different are in development. These use many different vaccine technologies to present HCV proteins to your immune system. Some examples include:
- Recombinant proteins. These consist of purified viral proteins.
- Virus-like particles. These particles contain the outside proteins of HCV, but dont have any genetic material inside.
- DNA. This is genetic material that can provide instructions on how to make an HCV protein. The protein will then be displayed on the cells surface.
- Viral vectors. These contain genetic material inside of a harmless virus. The genetic material gives your cells instructions on how to make an HCV protein, which will be displayed on the cells surface.
With the ongoing success of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, its also possible that researchers will develop new vaccine candidates using this technology as well.
Detection And Diagnosis Of Hiv Infection
After initial primary infection with HIV, there is a window period prior to the development of detectable antibody. In persons with known exposure dates, the estimated median time from initial infection to the development of detectable antibody is 2.4 months 95% of individuals develop antibodies within 6 months of infection . Among HCWs with a documented seroconversion to HIV, 5% tested negative for HIV antibodies at > 6 months after their occupational exposure but were seropositive within 12 months . The two antibody tests commonly used to detect HIV are the enzyme immunoassay and the Western blot. An HIV test result is reported as negative when the EIA result is negative. The result is reported as positive when the EIA result is repeatedly reactive and when the result of a more specific, supplemental confirmatory test, such as the Western blot, is also positive. Once an individual develops an antibody response, it usually remains detectable for life. HIV infection for longer than 6 months without detectable antibody is uncommon .
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