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Hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral disease that attacks the liver and causes inflammation. Approximately 71 million people throughout the world are estimated to become infected by HCV. Eastern Mediterranean and European areas are the most affected areas with 2.3% and 1.5percent of the populace experiencing HCV respectively. HCV doesn’t lead to symptoms normally; consequently, infected individuals don’t come to understand for long. The HCV disease causes about 400 million deaths each year, mostly because of chronic hepatitis C resulting in cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

In most cases, symptoms of hepatitis C do not show during the acute stage. The infected person may show flu-like symptoms. They include:

  • Tiredness
  • Mild fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Joint pains
  • Itching all over the body
  • Dark urine
  • Tan or grey stools
  • Abdomen ache in liver region
  • Loss of appetite
  • Yellow eyes and skin


The HCV disease is characterized by conducting certain blood tests. The identification is done in two steps-

  1. Serological evaluation to look at the existence of anti-bodies that struggle HCV. The positive evaluation verifies that the virus had or has been within the human body but doesn’t affirm it exists. Thus, a second confirmatory test is performed.
  2. HCV RNA test is conducted to verify that the chronic infection and continued existence of this virus. If the HCV RNA is positive, additional tests have been carried out to determine the genotype of virus along with also the acceptable remedy to be provided to the patient. These evaluations are
  • PCR genotype evaluation: There are genotype 1 to 6 hepatitis C virus. This evaluation determines the genotype within the entire body of the patient so the line of therapy could be determined.
  • Hepatitis C virus DNA evaluation (viral load): The existence of DNA of HCV from the blood indicates that the virus remains growing and active. This evaluation conducted at a regular period of time signals whether the treatment is working or not. Reduced viral load is indicative of successful therapy.
  • Liver function tests: As HCV strikes the liver, the patients with HCV have been expected to find the liver function tests performed to examine the operation of the liver.
  • Other Tests: Ultrasound or fibroscan, full blood evaluation, and evaluation of the health history of the individual can also be done by the physicians before prescribing the medications.


The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) spreads primarily through contaminated blood. It may get transmitted via:

  • Utilizing needles used by an infected individual
  • Immediate contact with infected blood
  • Tattoo piercing with unsterilized instruments
  • Sharing of personal things, like razor and toothbrush with an infected individual
  • Infected mother to child in the time of childbirth or pregnancy
  • Unsafe sex in very few cases
  • An infected organ or blood donor to the receiver.

Types of Hepatitis C

HCV can cause Severe or chronic hepatitis C Based on the Seriousness and duration of the Existence of virus in Your System:

  • Acute Hepatitis C: With first exposure, an individual becomes infected with acute hepatitis C. Roughly 75 percent of infected individuals don’t experience any symptoms. The remaining 25% may experience mild signs of gastrointestinal issues.
  • Chronic Hepatitis C: As HCV is treatable, 85 percent of those infected men and women cannot clear the virus in time and eventually become chronically infected. The existence of the HCV virus in the blood for at least six months following first exposure contributes to chronic hepatitis C. This is a serious illness and must be treated differently it might cause liver cirrhosis or hepatoma (liver cancer).

Helpful – Liver Diseases: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment & Management

Severe hepatitis C infection doesn’t necessarily require drugs as the immune system fighting against the HCV often clears the disease. Someone with severe hepatitis C who doesn’t reveal positive HCV RNA is not given any medication since the embryo generated an attempt to clear the virus within for six weeks.

Chronic hepatitis C therapy is provided with the goal of treating the illness. On the other hand, the speed of treatment depends upon multiple variables, such as the genotype of the virus, the kind of therapy, and the overall health of the individual. New treatments are more successful and the treatment rate is over 95%. These brand new direct-acting, anti-inflammatory (DAA) medications target the lifecycle of both HCV and disrupt the rise of cells that are new. Older approaches to deal with HCV were uncomfortable for patients. On the other hand, new medications and therapy are costly.

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The Most Important Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is the Difference Between Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C?

A: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are due to three distinct viruses. Even though their symptoms are similar and every one of them strikes the liver, their modes of transmission are somewhat distinct. Each of the three starts as severe illnesses but Hepatitis A doesn’t become chronic and enhances without medication. On the flip side, Hepatitis B and C can become persistent if toxin proceeds to stay in the bloodstream for over six months. A chronic disease may result in serious complications such as cirrhosis or cancer. Vaccines are available for Hepatitis A and B, but not for Hepatitis C.

Q: Who Is at Risk of Contracting HCV?

A: Following type of people are at risk of contracting Hepatitis C-

  • People who use injectable drugs
  • People with HIV
  • People receiving kidney dialysis for long
  • Children of an infected mother
  • People born between 1945 and 1965
  • People who have got piercings or tattoos
  • Healthcare workers who handle blood
  • Patients with diseases that require blood from donors

Q: Can Hepatitis C Be Prevented?

A: Hepatitis C could be avoided by taking precautions just. Although vaccines for hepatitis A and B can be found, there’s not any vaccine available to shield against hepatitis C. Since the principal source of transmission of HCV is infected blood, the illness can be prevented from spreading by preventing the contact with contaminated blood, e.g. consumption of needles, private things such as razor and nail clipper ought to be prevented.

Q: Can Hepatitis C Be Cured?

A: Yes, hepatitis C is also curable. The therapy therapies and medications have proven a success rate of 95 percent in removing HCV. Medicines for distinct genotypes are readily available. To get genotypes 1, 2, and 3, the direct-acting antifungal medications (DDA) can be found and for genotypes 4, 5, and 6, elderly kinds of medications are there which have a fantastic reply but take more time to take care of the disease.

Q: What Is the Contagious Period for Hepatitis C?

A: There’s not any particular period of time of contagiousness of Hepatitis C. Since the disease is spread via the exposure to contaminated blood, the blood of an infected individual remains infectious until the HCV is totally removed from his entire body.

Q: If I Had Hepatitis C in the Past, Can I Get Re-infected?

A: Yes, Someone treated from hepatitis C isn’t immune from accessing the HCV disease again. Hepatitis C is very likely to recur in HIV infected individuals. But, Re-infection could be prevented by appropriate care and refraining in risky tasks like sharing needles and individual products.

Q: What Are Genotypes of HCV?

A: Hepatitis C virus can be classified on the basis of genes that are similar. This categorization is referred to as genotype. There are just six HCV genotypes labeled from 1 to 6 weeks. These have subtypes tagged with letters of an alphabet. It’s necessary to understand more about the genotype when diagnosing the HCV as distinct HCV genotypes are treated with various medicines. Although an individual has been infected by a single genotype, however, it’s also possible that someone might get infected by more than 1 genotype, concurrently.

Q: What Complications Are Associated With Hepatitis C?

A: Many people with chronic hepatitis C don’t develop complications. But patients with chronic hepatitis B are at risk of getting liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Some folks might require a liver transplant. Individuals with alcoholic and obesity are at greater risk of suffering from complications of hepatitis C.

Q: Will I Need a Liver Transplant If Infected With HCV?

A: Though hepatitis C is treatable and curable, but sometimes it transforms to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer, leading to adrenal liver disease and liver failure. In these situations, the only possible remedy is a liver transplant.

Q: What Care Should Be Taken by People With Chronic Hepatitis C?

A: Standard monitoring of those sufferers of chronic Hepatitis Cby experienced physician is needed. Alcohol has to be rigorously avoided to prevent additional liver damage. Any other drugs, nutritional supplements, and over-the-counter medication shouldn’t be taken without consulting the physician. In the event of chronic hepatitis C, then the individual ought to take the vaccinations of Hepatitis A and B.

Q: How Should Infected Blood Spills Be Cleaned from Surfaces to Ensure That HCV Is Removed?

A: All blood flow, such as the dried blood, should be washed and the surface ought to be disinfected with bleach and water. Gloves should be used while cleansing the blood spills.

Q: What Are the Side Effects of Hepatitis C Drugs?

A: The side effects of hepatitis C drugs depend on the medicines used. The common side effects are:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of hair
  • Headache
  • Anemia
  • Depression and nervousness
  • Confusion

Q: How Much Does it Cost to Treat HCV?

A: The newest drugs DAA to deal with HCV are extremely powerful. There are various medications for various genotypes. Many times a combination of medications is required to heal HCV. The expense of these medications is extremely high and an individual with average income finds it hard to manage it. The expenses of therapy operate in many thousands of US dollars. But, you can find generic medications available in a number of countries that cost just a couple hundred US dollars for the comprehensive treatment.

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