Recent researchers have discovered that Hepatitis C can remain inconspicuous for years (as long as 30 years as found in some cases) before its symptoms can be recognized, as hepatitis C may appear with narrow or no symptoms.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis means liver infection, which causes irreparable damage to the tissues and can be induced because of excessive intake of alcohol, industrial chemicals, certain drugs and different viruses. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the one causing hepatitis C ailment in humans and chimpanzees.
During initial phase that may last for 6 months symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, jaundice, abdominal pain, pus or dark colored faeces and fatigue may appear. However, in chronic phase the symptoms are simple like laziness, memory loss and poor concentration, it still remain unnoticed and may lead to severe complications like cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Hepatitis C viruses can be transmitted through an infected person during blood transfusion, using needles, which are not sterilized properly for tattoos, piercings, botox, dermal fillers, acupuncture or for intravenous drug uses.
There are chances that a hepatitis C virus could be transferred from infected mother to her baby, during unprotected sex with an infected person and sharing razors and toothbrush. Although breast-feeding, sharing foods, holding hands or through kissing and hugging involve no risks.
Post 1990 and onwards, in UK, USA, Canada to name a few, it has been made mandatory to check the blood and blood products for hepatitis C virus along with other tests which are normally carried before transmission. These days specialized test for hepatitis C are recommended as in normal blood test the virus remain undetected. Which means anyone who had any kind of blood transfusion prior to 1990 should get them tested so that if tested positive the diagnosis can be done at the earliest. Graham Foster, professor of hepatology at Queen Mary University of London says that” 30% of the patients already have cirrhosis by the time the disease is diagnosed.”
There are no vaccines available so far but hepatitis C can be cured (in most of the cases) with a combination of antiviral tablet ribavarin and interferon injection also known as pegylated interferon.
Ribavarin as the name suggest bar the virus from spreading and interferon boosts the immune system to fight the virus. However, researchers advocate that interferon is not suited to every patients depending upon the virus genotype. Nevertheless, boceprevir and telaprevir are newly emerged medicines that have recorded fewer side effects.
Much research work is still being carried out to understand the disease and devising mechanism for fighting against the problem.
Whatever said and done, prevention is better than cure, it is better to be aware with the disease symptoms and knowing how it can be easily averted. So next time if you feel tired and sick, don’t just overlook, go and visit your doctor, after all, there is no harm in going for a checkup, isn’t it?
Source: Daily mail