Hepatitis C

The Hepatitis C virus is a fairly new entity for professional practitioners of medicine, since it was identified as recently as 1989.

Transmission

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C [Consultant Gynaecologist]

The virus is mainly transmitted through transfusion of contaminated blood or using contaminated equipment such as needles. Most of the Hepatitis C cases are intravenous drug users, who share needles. However, unlike Hepatitis A and B, cases of transmission of Hepatitis C virus from a mother to a child or by sexual intercourse is very rare.

Incubation period

Usually six to seven weeks.

Symptoms

Hepatitis C is usually asymptomatic or may show mild symptoms of viral hepatitis such as fever, lack of appetite and weakness. But, if the affected person consumes alcohol regularly or is a chronic carrier of the infection, he may develop Cirrhosis of liver or liver cancer later in life.

Prevention measures

  • Screening donated blood for Hepatitis C virus before transfusion.
  • The most popular drug used to treat Hepatitis C is Interferon, which is very expensive and has to be administered several times a week for several months.
  • Hepatitis C vaccine has not been discovered yet.

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