Thursday, September 29, 2022

What Is Hepatitis C Caused From

The Freshkampo And Heb Strawberries Recall

Hepatitis C: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment

The US Food and Drug Administration announced an outbreak investigation connected to fresh organic strawberries coming from FreshKampo and HEB.

The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and other state and local agencies are investigating a multistate outbreak.

The agency says the FreshKampo and HEB strawberries are past their shelf life. You wont find them in stores. Thats why the outbreak investigation announcement isnt a full recall announcement. However, customers bought the berries between March 5th, 2022 and April 25th, 2022. But some consumers might still have frozen strawberries from these companies.

The two strawberry brands from this recall were available from various retailers.

The stores that sold the recalled strawberries include:

  • Aldi
  • Weis Markets
  • WinCo Foods.

The FDA explains that epidemiologic and traceback showed that FreshKampo and HEB strawberries are a likely cause of the hepatitis A outbreak. So far, the FDA has registered 17 cases of illness in the US in three states California , Minnesota , and North Dakota . Illness onset dates range from March 28th to April 30th, 2022. Ten cases appeared in Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Getting Tested Is The Only Way To Know If You Have Hepatitis C

A blood test called a hepatitis C antibody test can tell if you have been infected with the hepatitis C viruseither recently or in the past. If you have a positive antibody test, another blood test is needed to tell if you are still infected or if you were infected in the past and cleared the virus on your own.

  • Are 18 years of age and older
  • Are pregnant
  • Currently inject drugs
  • Have ever injected drugs, even if it was just once or many years ago
  • Have HIV
  • Have abnormal liver tests or liver disease
  • Are on hemodialysis

How Do I Know If I Have Hepatitis C Virus

Diagnosis of hepatitis C virus requires a blood test your doctor can order. Other blood tests can determine which subtype of HCV you have to better target your drug treatment, if needed. Your doctor will also want to know your viral load . In some patients, a liver biopsy is required to determine the level of damage.

Symptoms of chronic HCV may not appear for 2 to 3 decades after infection, so the disease may develop silently in your body for many years. This is the reason you should be tested for HCV infection, to start treatment if needed and to help protect your liver from damage.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone 18 years or older be tested for hepatitis C virus at least once in their lifetime. Women should be tested for hepatitis C testing during each pregnancy. Some high risk groups may need more frequent testing, such as people who share drug preparation equipment and those on hemodialysis.

Learn More: Oral Hepatitis C Treatments: The Evolving Landscape

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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.

How Is Hepatitis C Diagnosed

How Hepatitis C Symptoms Differ in Females

Symptoms alone generally dont offer enough information for a doctor to diagnose hepatitis C. Whats more, you might not have symptoms or notice any signs of the condition.

Thats why its so important to connect with a doctor or other healthcare professional and ask about getting tested if youve been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.

The also recommend hepatitis C testing for people who have abnormal liver tests, along with those who are:

A healthcare professional can order a few different tests to help diagnose hepatitis C. These include:

  • Blood tests. They may order a series of blood tests to check for the virus, starting with a hepatitis C antibody test. A PCR test can tell your healthcare professional whether the virus is currently active, and viral load testing can measure the amount of virus in your blood.
  • Genotype test. This test can reveal which hepatitis C genotype you have. This information will help your healthcare professional find an effective treatment approach.
  • Liver function test. If blood test results suggest chronic hepatitis C or your healthcare professional believes you could have liver damage, theyll order a liver function test. This test checks your blood for signs of heightened enzymes from your liver.
  • Liver biopsy.This procedure can also help check for liver damage. A biopsy involves taking a small piece of tissue from your liver and testing it for cell abnormalities.

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Who Is More Likely To Get Hepatitis C

People more likely to get hepatitis C are those who

  • have injected drugs
  • had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
  • have hemophilia and received clotting factor before 1987
  • have been on kidney dialysis
  • have been in contact with blood or infected needles at work
  • have had tattoos or body piercings
  • have worked or lived in a prison
  • were born to a mother with hepatitis C
  • are infected with HIV
  • have had more than one sex partner in the last 6 months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease
  • are men who have or had sex with men

In the United States, injecting drugs is the most common way that people get hepatitis C.13

Strawberries Likely Caused Hepatitis A Outbreak Fda Says

Packages of FreshKampo and HEB brand strawberries are likely linked to more than a dozen recent cases of hepatitis A in California, federal food regulators said.

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, joined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections in the U.S. and Canada potentially linked to fresh, organic strawberries with the FreshKampo or HEB labels and purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022.

“If you are unsure of what brand you purchased, when you purchased your strawberries or where you purchased them from prior to freezing them, the strawberries should be thrown away,” the FDA said in a warning notice.

The strawberries were also sold at HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers, Trader Joe’s, Weis Markets and WinCo Foods, according to regulators. The FDA has received reports of 17 hepatitis A cases in the U.S. since the strawberries hit store shelves, and a dozen people have been hospitalized. Most of the cases have been in California, but the FDA also reported one case in both Minnesota and North Dakota.

In Canada, 10 cases of hepatitis A and four hospitalizations have been reported tied to the strawberries, according to The Associated Press.

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What Is The Prognosis For Someone Who Has Hepatitis C

You can continue to lead an active life even if you are diagnosed with hepatitis C. People with the disease can work and continue their regular daily activities. However, it is very important that you see a specialist as soon as you are diagnosed with hepatitis C. There are many treatments available that can cure the virus.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, patients should:

How Is Hepatitis C Treated

HEPATITIS C CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT OPTION

There are some very effective options for the treatment of hepatitis C infection. They are listed on the Medicare PBS , which makes them available at a much lower cost.

Newer treatments differ from those available previously:

  • they cure more than 95% of people
  • their side effects are minimal
  • treatments last just 8 to 12 weeks
  • they involve just a few pills each day, with no injections required

Curing hepatitis C means clearing the virus from the body. It helps reduce liver inflammation and can also help reverse scarring and cirrhosis. You can be re-treated if your treatment doesnt work the first time.

You should check with your doctor before taking any other medication or supplements, and whether you need vaccinations against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. You should also avoid alcohol if you have hepatitis. If you have liver damage, you may also need to see a liver specialist

For more information on how to get treatment, contact the National Hepatitis Info Line on 1800 437 222.

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Effective Treatments Are Available For Hepatitis C

New medication to treat for HCV have been approved in recent years. These treatments are much better than the previously available treatment because they have few side effects and do not need to be injected. There are several direct-acting antiviral HCV treatments that cure more than 95% of people who take them in 8 to 12 weeks. HCV treatment dramatically reduces deaths among people with HCV infection, and people who are cured of HCV are much less likely to develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Take Action! CDCs National Prevention Information Network Service Locator helps consumers locate hepatitis B and hepatitis C prevention, care, and treatment services.

Medications For Hepatitis C

Many different medications can treat hepatitis C. Treatments most often include antivirals, with Riboviria sometimes prescribed if previous treatments were ineffective.

Medications called direct-acting antivirals work to fully remove the hepatitis C virus from your body while helping prevent liver damage at the same time.

A few brand names of these medications include:

  • Zepatier

6 different genotypes , or strains, of hepatitis C.

Once your doctor or other healthcare professional knows your genotype, theyll have a better idea of which medication will work best for you. Some strains have developed a resistance to some medications, so your genotype can affect your treatment options.

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How Many People Have Hepatitis C

During 2013-2016 it was estimated that about two and half million people were chronically infected with HCV in the United States. The actual number may be as low as 2.0 million or as high as 2.8 million.Globally, hepatitis C is a common blood-borne infection with an estimated 71 million people chronically infected according to the World Health Organization .

Could I Give Hepatitis C To Someone Else

Its absolutely feasible to eliminate hepatitis C. Heres how.

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.

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Treatment And Medication For Hepatitis C

If you have acute hepatitis C, there is no recommended treatment. If your hepatitis C turns into a chronic hepatitis C infection, there are several medications available.

Interferon, peginterferon, and ribavirin used to be the main treatments for hepatitis C. They can have side effects like fatigue, flu-like symptoms, anemia, skin rash, mild anxiety, depression, nausea, and diarrhea.

Now youâre more likely to get one of these medications:

Find out more on treatment options for hepatitis C.

Diagnosis Of Hepatitis C

If you are at risk of hepatitis C infection, or think you may have been exposed to hepatitis C in the past, see your doctor for an assessment of your liver health. This will include blood tests and possibly a non-invasive test for liver damage .

There are 2 blood tests used to diagnose hepatitis C. Usually these can be done at the same time but sometimes they will be done separately.

The first test known as a hepatitis C antibody test can tell you whether you have ever been exposed to hepatitis C.

It may take 2 to 3 months from the time of infection until a blood test can detect antibodies to hepatitis C, so there is a window period during which you cannot tell if you are or have been infected. In this time, take precautions to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

The second test is called hepatitis C PCR, which will be done if the antibody test is positive. This determines if the virus is still present in your blood or liver or if you have already cleared the infection.

If you have cleared the virus or had successful treatment to cure it, the PCR test will be negative.

A liver ultrasound or Fibroscan can also be performed to assess if you have any liver damage.

If your doctor is inexperienced in diagnosing hepatitis C you can call the LiverLine on for information, and to find a GP who can help you.

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Getting Tested For Hepatitis C

Seek medical advice if you have persistent symptoms of hepatitis C or there’s a risk you’re infected, even if you do not have any symptoms.

A blood test can be carried out to see if you have the infection.

GPs, sexual health clinics, genitourinary medicine clinics or drug treatment services all offer testing for hepatitis C.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent or limit any damage to your liver, as well as help ensure the infection is not passed on to other people.

Our Areas Of Innovation For Hepatitis

Why are hepatitis C infections an increasing cause for concern?

Liver biopsies provide a great deal of information about the extent of damage in a childs liver, but the procedure is invasive and can be both painful and risky. Researchers at Boston Childrens use an ultrasound-based imaging technology called FibroScan that may be able to help doctors assess liver scarring without a liver biopsy.

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Hepatitis C And Blood Spills

When cleaning and removing blood spills, use standard infection control precautions at all times:

  • Cover any cuts or wounds with a waterproof dressing.
  • Wear single-use gloves and use paper towel to mop up blood spills.
  • Clean the area with warm water and detergent, then rinse and dry.
  • Place used gloves and paper towels into a plastic bag, then seal and dispose of them in a rubbish bin.
  • Wash your hands in warm, soapy water then dry them thoroughly.
  • Put bloodstained tissues, sanitary towels or dressings in a plastic bag before throwing them away.

Symptoms Of Hepatitis A Include Fatigue And Tummy Pain

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the highly contagious Hepatitis A virus. Most people are vaccinated against the virus, and don’t need any treatment if they come in contact with it.

The CDC recommends that unvaccinated people who encounter it to get a hepatitis A shot, and possibly an antibody drug, within two weeks of exposure.

Symptoms usually start within 15 to 50 days of coming into contact with the virus.

For most people, symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, loss of appetite, tummy pain, nausea, vomiting, yellow skin, dark urine, and pale poop.

Symptoms range in severity and usually last between a few weeks to about two months, without any long-term liver damage.

But in rare cases, the condition can become chronic and lead to liver failure and death. Older people and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of severe illness.

Kids younger than 6 years old with hepatitis A don’t tend to get symptoms.

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Preventing The Spread Of Hepatitis C

There is no vaccine available to prevent a person from being infected with hepatitis C. Recommended behaviours to prevent the spread of the virus include:

  • Always use sterile injecting equipment. This can be accessed from your local needle and syringe program service.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as toothbrushes, razors, nail files or nail scissors, which can draw blood.
  • If you are involved in body piercing, tattooing, electrolysis or acupuncture, always ensure that any instrument that pierces the skin is either single use or has been cleaned, disinfected and sterilised since it was last used.
  • If you are a healthcare worker, follow standard precautions at all times.
  • Wherever possible, wear single-use gloves if you give someone first aid or clean up blood or body fluids.
  • Although hepatitis C is not generally considered to be a sexually transmissible infection in Australia, you may wish to consider safe sex practices if blood is going to be present, or if your partner has HIV infection. You may wish to further discuss this issue and personal risks with your doctor.

Complications Of Hepatitis C

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020

If the infection is left untreated for many years, some people with hepatitis C will develop scarring of the liver .

Over time, this can cause the liver to stop working properly.

In severe cases, life-threatening problems, such as liver failure, where the liver loses most or all of its functions, or liver cancer, can eventually develop.

Treating hepatitis C as early as possible can help reduce the risk of these problems happening.

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