Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need treatment?
- What treatment is best for me?
- What medicines should I take?
- Are there any medicines I should avoid?
- How can I cope with the side effects of treatment?
- Is there a therapist I can talk to?
- How long will my treatment last?
- Can hepatitis C be cured?
- Are organ transplants and blood transfusions safe?
- Is it safe for me to get pregnant?
What Laboratory Tests Diagnose Hepatitis C
Laboratory blood tests will be done to evaluate the patient’s liver function and to look for hepatitis C antibodies . If these tests indicate that the person has hepatitis C, a hepatitis C “viral load” test will be done. This looks for genetic material from the hepatitis C virus and measures the quantity of hepatitis C virus that is circulating in the patient’s blood. This is helpful in determining if treatment is appropriate and to monitor the success of the treatment .
Individuals who had hepatitis C in the past and cleared the virus on their own will have a positive HCV antibody test, but there will be no hepatitis C virus genetic material in the blood. If a person is immunosuppressed due to an immunological condition, cancer chemotherapy, immunotherapy or HIV/AIDS, the test results may be different and need to be evaluated accordingly.
How Common Is Hepatitis C
There are approximately 30,000 new cases of acute hepatitis C every year in the United States as estimated by the CDC. In 2015, it was estimated that approximately 3.5 million Americans were infected with hepatitis C.
On a global scale, the prevalence of hepatitis C is greatest in Central and East Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. In 2016, it was estimated that 177 million people worldwide had antibodies to hepatitis C virus.
- exposure to other people who do or might have hepatitis C.
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Ive Never Used Iv Drugs Or Been Stuck With A Dirty Needle How Did I Get Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is usually spread through direct contact with the blood of a person who has the disease. It can also be transmitted by needles used for tattooing or body piercing. In rare cases, hepatitis C can be passed from a mother to her unborn baby. This virus can be transmitted through sex and sharing razors or toothbrushes. These occurrences are also rare. Many times, the cause of hepatitis C is never found.
What Causes Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus causes hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus spreads through contact with an infected persons blood. Contact can occur by
- sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
- getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
- being tattooed or pierced with tools or inks that were not kept sterilefree from all viruses and other microorganismsand were used on an infected person before they were used on you
- having contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
- using an infected persons razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers
- being born to a mother with hepatitis C
- having unprotected sex with an infected person
You cant get hepatitis C from
- being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person
- drinking water or eating food
- hugging an infected person
- shaking hands or holding hands with an infected person
- sharing spoons, forks, and other eating utensils
- sitting next to an infected person
A baby cant get hepatitis C from breast milk.18
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How Is The Virus Spread
Like hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus is spread when blood of an infected person enters the body of a person who is not infected, such as through sharing needles or “works” when shooting drugs or occupational needle stick injury. The risk of sexual transmission has not been thoroughly studied but appears to be low in long-term, monogamous relationships. There is no evidence that the hepatitis C virus can be transmitted by casual contact such as hugging or shaking hands, through foods, by sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, or by coughing or sneezing. Hepatitis C is not spread by breastmilk.
Whats The Difference Between Acute And Chronic Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a contagious disease caused by HCV, which is spread through contact with blood and bodily fluids that contain HCV. This disease damages your liver. There are two types of hepatitis C infection: acute and chronic.
Acute hepatitis C is a short-term viral infection. People with acute hepatitis C carry the infection for a small window of time, often just several months . Most people with the acute form of hepatitis C will experience illness and mild symptoms such as fatigue and vomiting within the first six months after exposure. In many cases, the disease causes no symptoms at all.
Acute hepatitis C may improve or resolve without treatment. It leads to chronic infection in 75 to 85 percent of cases. The chronic form may cause long-term problems in your liver, including liver damage and liver cancer.
HCV is spread through direct contact with blood or certain bodily fluids that contain HCV. Its safe to engage in the following activities without worry of transmission:
If your doctor suspects that you have hepatitis C, they will draw blood to check for HCV antibodies. Antibodies are substances your body produces when its fighting an infection. If you have them, your doctor may order a second test to confirm that the virus is still present.
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What Happens At The Start Of The Disease
Hepatitis C can spread through the body through blood contamination. The virus mostly impacts the liver as it processes many of the bodys contaminated fluids.
A common sign of hepatitis is bruising or bleeding easily. You may also experience fatigue and a poor appetite. Jaundice may occur due to the liver becoming weak, causing the skin or eyes to turn yellow in color.
You may also notice swelling in your legs and the buildup of fluid in the abdomen. These problems may develop even if you start losing weight. Your urine may also become dark in color. The dark tone may persist even if you are hydrated.
Who Gets Hepatitis C
Persons at highest risk for HCV infection include:
- persons who ever injected illegal drugs, including those who injected once or a few times many years ago,
- people who had blood transfusions, blood products or organ donations before June 1992, when sensitive tests for HCV were introduced for blood screening, and
- persons who received clotting factors made before 1987.
Other persons at risk for hepatitis C include:
- long-term kidney dialysis patients,
- health care workers after exposures to the blood of an infected person while on the job,
- infants born to HCV-infected mothers,
- people with high-risk sexual behavior, multiple partners and sexually transmitted diseases,
- people who snort cocaine using shared equipment, and
- people who have shared toothbrushes, razors and other personal items with a family member who is HCV-infected.
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Viruses That Can Lead To Cancer
Viruses are very small organisms most cant even be seen with an ordinary microscope. They are made up of a small number of genes in the form of DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein coating. A virus must enter a living cell and take over the cells machinery in order to reproduce and make more viruses. Some viruses do this by inserting their own DNA into that of the host cell. When the DNA or RNA affects the host cells genes, it can push the cell toward becoming cancer.
In general, each type of virus tends to infect only a certain type of cell in the body.
Several viruses are linked with cancer in humans. Our growing knowledge of the role of viruses as a cause of cancer has led to the development of vaccines to help prevent certain human cancers. But these vaccines can only protect against infections if they are given before the person is exposed to the cancer-promoting virus.
What Are The Symptoms And Consequences Of Infection
Approximately 20 percent of persons exposed to the virus develop symptoms which may include jaundice , fatigue, dark-colored urine, stomach pain, loss of appetite and nausea. After the initial infection, 15-25 percent will recover and 75-85 percent will become chronically infected . Approximately 70 percent of persons chronically infected may develop liver disease, sometimes decades after initial infection.
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How Is Hepatitis C Spread
The hepatitis C virus is spread through contact with infected blood and bodily fluids, such as semen and vaginal fluid. You will only be infected if the virus enters your bloodstream.
In Canada, most people are infected by:
- using or sharing drug paraphernalia contaminated with infected blood, including:
If you have hepatitis C, you can pass the virus to your baby during:
- breastfeeding if your nipples are cracked and bleeding, and your baby also has bleeding in or on the mouth
- it can be hard to tell if a baby has bleeding in or on the mouth
- cracked nipples may not be bleeding but may begin to during breastfeeding
You can also be infected if you receive contaminated:
- blood products
Although rare, hepatitis C can also be spread through unprotected sex especially if it involves blood contact, such as:
- contact with:
- open sores, cuts or wounds
- semen or vaginal fluid if blood is present
Unprotected sex means having sex without using a condom or other barrier safely.
Hepatitis C is not spread through:
- breast milk
What To Do If The Hcv Antibody Test Is Reactive
If the antibody test is reactive or positive, you need an additional test to see if you currently have hepatitis C. This test is called a nucleic acid test for HCV RNA. Another name used for this test is a PCR test.
If the NAT for HCV RNA is:
- Negative you were infected with hepatitis C virus, but the virus is no longer in your body because you were cured or cleared the virus naturally.
- Positive you now have the virus in your blood.
If you have a reactive antibody test and a positive NAT for HCV RNA, you will need to talk to a doctor about treatment. Treatments are available that can cure most people with hepatitis C in 8 to 12 weeks.
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Ways To Catch Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is passed on through infected blood. Most people in Europe who get hepatitis C are injecting drug users who have caught the infection by sharing contaminated needles. Hepatitis C can also be passed on by tattooing, body piercing and acupuncture, if these are done in unsterile conditions.
Pregnant women with hepatitis C may pass the infection on to their babies.
In the past, blood transfusions could be a way of catching hepatitis C. Now, all blood donors should be screened and all blood products tested to stop this from happening. People on renal dialysis may be at higher risk.
Transmission Can Become A Concern
One point our experts at Health Services of North Texas in Denton, Wylie, and Plano, TX have found about hepatitis C involves how easy it is for the condition to move between people. You could easily transmit hepatitis C to other people by spreading blood from a cut. You could also spread it through sex, especially if it is unprotected. The spread can become worse when people have sex with multiple partners.
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You Should Get Tested For Hcv If:
- You were born between 1945 and 1965.
- You have abnormal liver blood test results.
- You work in a place where you were exposed to blood through a needle stick or other sharp object.
- You have HIV.
- You use or used to use injection drugs .
- You got a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before July 1992.
- You were treated for a blood clotting issue before 1987.
- You are on hemodialysis treatment long-term.
- You have a sexual partner that is HCV infected.
- Your mother has had HCV.
- You have snorted street drugs.
- You have a street tattoo.
- You have been in prison or incarcerated.
- Your spouse or household contacts have HCV.
- You have signs of liver disease.
Contact Us Today For Hepatitis C Treatment
If you need help treating or detecting hepatitis C, contact us at Health Services of North Texas in Denton, TX. We also have offices in Plano, and Wylie, TX, so you can receive the treatment you require whether you are in Denton or Collin County. Contact us today to learn more about how our services work and what you can expect from treatment.
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Undercooked And Raw Shellfish
Shellfish are animals that filter the water from their surroundings. Because of this, they can become contaminated with hepatitis A virus if they are grown in polluted waters. To be safe, cook shellfish thoroughly before eating it. Undercooked shellfish like oysters, mussels, and clams may harbor and transmit hepatitis A. You may prefer the taste of raw oysters, but cooked shellfish really is safer. Protect your health and skip the raw oyster bar.
What Are The Dangers Of Untreated Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a dangerous virus that harms the liver and produces inflammation. Because this disease doesn’t always trigger symptoms, many people may not be aware they even have hepatitis C. The good news is that our experts at Health Services of North Texas in Denton, Wylie, and Plano can help you manage hepatitis C before it becomes more of a threat to your body.
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What Causes Hepatitis In General
- Virus and other infections
- Autoimmune response
- Metabolic disorders
- An acute illness caused by the hepatitis A virus .
- Transmitted through food and water contaminated by feces of infected people.
Cost Of Hepatitis C Medicines
The newer direct-acting antiviral medicines for hepatitis C can be costly. Most government and private health insurance prescription drug plans provide some coverage for these medicines. Talk with your doctor about your health insurance coverage for hepatitis C medicines.
Drug companies, nonprofit organizations, and some states offer programs that can help pay for hepatitis C medicines. If you need help paying for medicines, talk with your doctor. Learn more about financial help for hepatitis C medicines.
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Virus Release And Extracellular Particles
Analysis of cell supernatant by gradient density centrifugation demonstrated that the MVs subpopulations are different, depending on the cell line. It is known, that MVs are intensively released by primary hepatocytes and immortalized cells of hepatic origin. The release from hepatocytes might be increased by an undergoing lipotoxicity. Thus, MVs are actively used by the hepatocytes as delivery system and the amounts of MVs might be increased in response to lipotoxicity and likely other complications. In this regard, we speculate that during acute phase of infection the virus can trigger the MV release and that might be an additional pathway for the virus. How MVs containing virus particles can influence HCV distribution along the density gradient? In fact, MV containing different amount of viruses may contribute to observed diversity of buoyant densities of HCV, especially when plasma is investigated.
It is known, that the diffusion of spherical particle through a viscous liquid is dependent on the particle diameter. It is described by Stokes-Einstein equation:
D = diffusion constant, k = Boltzmann constant, T = temperature , = solvent viscosity, r = radius of spherical particle.
Another parameter that influences the diffusion is the mass of spherical particle and the equation counting these parameters looks as follows:
where: D = diffusion = radius of the spherical particle M = mass of the particle = viscosity of the medium.
Treatments For Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can be treated with medicines that stop the virus multiplying inside the body. These usually need to be taken for several weeks.
Until recently, most people would have taken 2 main medicines called pegylated interferon and ribavirin .
Tablet-only treatments are now available.
These new hepatitis C medicines have been found to make treatment more effective, are easier to tolerate, and have shorter treatment courses.
They include simeprevir, sofosbuvir and daclatasvir.
Using the latest medications, more than 90% of people with hepatitis C may be cured.
But it’s important to be aware that you will not be immune to the infection and should take steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected again.
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