What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C virus causes acute infection as well as chronic infection. Usually, asymptomatic, is new HCV infections. Some individuals have acute hepatitis, which is not life-threatening.
Roughly 30% (15–45%) of infected individuals spontaneously clear the virus without treatment within 6 months of infection.
The remaining 70% (55-85%) will become infected with chronic HCV. The risk of cirrhosis ranges from 15% to 30% within 20 years of a chronic HCV infection.
Mode Of Transmission Of Hepatitis C
The mode of transmission of Hepatitis C are given below:
i) Injecting medicine by sharing the equipment of injection;
ii) Reuse and/or insufficient sterilization in health care settings of medical supplies, particularly syringes and needles;
iii) The blood and blood products screened for transfusion;
iv) Sexual practices which lead to blood exposure (for instance, men who have sex with men , especially HIV infected men or those who are pre-exposed to HIV prophylaxis).
Symptoms Of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is incubated for 2 weeks to 6 months. About 80 percent of people have no symptoms after initial infection. The symptoms can have fever , fatigue, decreasing appetite, nausea , vomiting (skin and white eye yellowing), abdominal pain, dark urine, gray faeces, joint pain and jaundice, etc.
Testing Of Hepatitis C
The HCV test identifying people that have been infected with the virus is an anti-hCV antibody with a serological test.
If an anti-HCV antibodies are positive, a nucleic acid test for HCV ribonucleic acid ( RNA) is necessary to confirm chronic infection, because around 30 percent of people infected with HCV spontaneous remove the infection from their infection through a strong immune response.
Although they are no longer infected, anti-HCV antibodies will still be tested positively.
Treatment For Hepatitis C
A new HCV infection doesn’t necessitate treatment because some people’s immune response will clear the infection. However, treatment is required if HCV infection becomes chronic. The aim is to cure hepatitis C.
WHO updated 2018 guidelines recommend PAD treatment. WHO updated 2018 guidelines recommend PAD therapy. DAAs can cure most people with HCV infection and the duration of therapy is short, depending on whether or not cirrhosis is present.
WHO suggests treatment with pan genotypic DAA for all those over 12 years with chronic HCV infection. In many high- and high-middle-income countries, pan-genotypic DAAs remain expensive.
In many countries ( mainly low income and low mid-income countries), however, prices dropped dramatically due to the introduction of these generic versions.
There is improvement but limited access to HCV treatment. Of the world’s 71 million HCV patients, 19 percent (13.1 million) had been diagnosed in 2017 and about 5 million had received DAas before the end of 2017 from those diagnosed with chronic HCV infection.
Much more must be done to ensure that the global HCV treatment goal of 80% is achieved by 2030.
Preventive Measures Of Hepatitis C
i) Safe and adequate use of injections of health care;
i) Safe sharp handling and waste disposal;
iii) Provision of full hazard reduction services for people who inject drugs, including sterile injectors and effective , evidence-based dependency treatment;
iv) HBV and HCV (such as HIV and syphilis) blood donated testing;
v) Health staff training;
vi) Blood exposure prevention during intercourse; vii) Training and advice on care and treatment options;
viii) Vaccines against hepatitis A and B to prevent and protect your liver from coinfection with these hepatitis viruses;
ix) medical management, including antiviral therapy, early and appropriate;
x) Early diagnosis of chronic liver disease regularly monitored.