Hepatitis C is one of the members of the hepatitis virus families. So there are number of these different viruses including Hepatitis A B C D and E. Hepatitis C is on the most commonly found types of Hepatitis virus in the Western world.
Hepatitis C contracted or transmitted from one person to another. The most common way is transmitted through the infected blood. So by this, we mean infected blood you can be exposed to a number of different ways. For example:
- Infected blood products: This rarely happens nowadays because of all blood products are rigorously screened
- Infected needles: Two sharing of infected or dirty needles so for the intravenous drug users this can be a problem and for people who share and needlessly inject steroids this can a be a significant issue.
- While getting Tatoo: Hepatitis C can be transmitted through needles for example if they need people who are getting frequent tattoos and the needles aren’t changed between each client this can also be a source of hepatitis transmission.
- While having sexual contacts: Hepatitis C you can be transmitted sexually so this is far less common than hepatitis B.
Why is Hepatitis C more dangerous than Hepatitis B?
Coming directly to the point this is because most people that are exposed to hepatitis C could become chronic carriers and the minority of patients their own immune system cares the virus itself. So, unlike Hepatitis B it’s pretty much the opposite, in most patients the hepatitis B takes care at themselves and don’t become chronic carriers. Whereas most patients with Hepatitis C become chronic carriers and don’t clear themselves. That’s why it’s so important to get tested
How does hepatitis C manifest itself or what signs and symptoms appear in patients with hepatitis C?
- In the acute stage when you first get infected the hepatitis C, you either may not notice it at all or you may develop a flu-like illness with extreme fatigue fever.
- You may also develop abdominal pain, particularly here over the liver area.
- You may develop jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and you may develop an itch related to jaundice.
In the more chronic stage of hepatitis the reason it’s so dangerous as a virus is because it leads to inflammation of the liver which is called hepatitis and if this is untreated hepatitis will lead to a condition called cirrhosis. Liver Cirrhosis leads to fibrosis of the liver where it becomes less able to metabolize and clear toxins from the body. If this stage is left untreated hepatitis C, if chronic and the patient has developed cirrhosis it can lead to a much-increased rate of hepatocellular cancer or liver cancer.
Hepatitis C is only diagnosed with the use of the blood test, if you’re worried that you’ve come into contact with hepatitis C or been exposed to Hepatitis C or have had sexual intercourse as somebody with hepatitis C it is recommended to get tested.