Introduction to Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is also an inflammation of the liver, just like any other forms of hepatitis. The disease is also transmitted primarily through the blood and can be more persistent as an infection than hepatitis A or B.

The symptoms of Hepatitis C can usually be managed medically with a number of patients can be cleared of the virus through a long course of anti-viral medicines. Certain groups of people may find themselves at higher risk of contracting the disease.

Risk factors

People who share needles such as drug users may find themselves at high risk of getting the disease. This is also true to people who are fond of getting tattoos. Using non-sterilized tattooing equipment has been seen as high risk individuals. This also goes to people fond of body piercing or people practicing acupuncture.

Sexual contact with an infected person can also be a means that the virus can be transmitted. But this usually may happen only if one is exposed to the blood if an infected partner. The blood may come from genital sores, cuts or menstruation. But sexual contact in itself is an uncommon way that a person may be infected by the disease.

And since the virus is primarily transmitted through the blood, people undergoing blood transfusions may also find themselves at greater risk. This usually can happen in less developed countries where blood donations are not properly screened and can be transferred to another person easily.

Symptoms of hepatitis C

Infected by Hepatitis C, most people may not show any symptoms upon exposure. The symptoms usually come later and may take about one to three months to develop. Sometimes, an infected person may not develop any symptoms as his immune system successfully clears the virus. But he can still act as a carrier and still pass the virus to others.

Symptoms of the disease include having a short but mild flu-like illness. A person with hepatitis C may also experience nausea and vomiting along with a gradual loss of appetite. Diarrhea and weight loss may also follow as the disease slowly develops. This can also lead to jaundice or the yellowing of the skin as well as the eyes followed by having darker yellow urine and pale feces. Itchy skin may also be experienced as a symptom of hepatitis C.

A small number of infected individuals may clear the virus from their body within a period of six months. But this would not mean a permanent immunity from the said disease. A greater number of those infected may develop chronic hepatitis infection which may exhibit little or no symptoms at all. These people may carry the virus for the rest of their lives and may become constant risk of transmitting the virus to others.