All information about hepatitis C you will get here
- What is this disease and how it is dangerous?
Hepatitis C (HC) is an infectious liver disease that develops as a result of infection with the HSV virus (HCV), which spreads mainly through contact with the blood of an infected person. The disease can be acute or chronic.
The acute stage of the disease occurs within the first 6 months after infection. For moqst people, the acute stage becomes chronic, which occurs when HCV remains in the human body for longer than 6 months. The chronic form can last a lifetime and lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer.
- How common is this disease in Russia?
According to various estimates, up to 5 million people in Russia are carriers of this virus infection. Most people do not know that they are infected because they do not feel sick.
- What is the probability that the acute stage of the disease will become chronic?
Approximately 75% -85% of infected people develop chronic infection.
- How serious is the diagnosis?
The disease is quite serious and can lead in the long term to health problems, including liver cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer or death.
- What are the long-term effects of the disease?
If we consider the long-term prognosis, the average of 100 infected in
-75-85, the disease will take a chronic form, of which at
– 60-70 people will develop chronic liver disease.
– In 5-20 it will lead to cirrhosis of the liver. For 20-30 years
-1-5 people will die from cirrhosis or liver cancer.
- How can you get infected? Can the disease be sexually transmitted?
The disease develops after the blood of an infected person enters the body of a healthy person. Today, most people are infected with the virus by using common needles and other items to inject drugs. Until 1992, when blood screening began, the virus also spread widely through blood transfusions and organ transplants. People can also be infected with the virus by medical intervention, untreated properly tools, at birth from an infected mother. Less likely to get infected through personal care products that may contain blood particles such as razors and toothbrushes. It is also possible to get sick after sexual contact with an infected person.
- Can I get sick by getting a tattoo or piercing?
HCV infection can also be sexually transmitted, but the risk of transmission is considered extremely low. The risk is higher for those with multiple partners, associated sexually transmitted diseases or HIV infection.
- Can the disease spread through everyday life?
Infection with this (as well as other infectious diseases) is possible during tattooing or piercing, if all rules and norms of hygiene are not observed. This often happens in places of detention or in non-specialized institutions.
- What are the ways this infection is not transmitted?
The virus can be transmitted in everyday life, but this happens very rarely. If this happens, it is most often as a result of contact with the skin of the blood of an infected family member.
- Risk from physical relation or other things?
The disease has not spread through Cutlery, hugs, kisses, handshakes, by airborne droplets, through food or water.
Some people are at increased risk of infection. It:
-injecting drug user;
– patients receiving donated blood, blood products or organs;
– persons receiving hemodialysis;
– people who have done piercings or tattoos with non-sterile tools;
– health workers who have patients who are positive for the virus;
– children born to mothers infected with the virus.
Less at risk:
persons who have had sexual contact with an infected person,
people using the patient’s personal hygiene items, such as razors and toothbrushes, which may contain blood particles of an infected person.
- What is the risk of a pregnant woman transmitting the virus to her child?
Hepatitis C and pregnancy is one of the most pressing issues. The virus is rarely transmitted from a pregnant woman to a child. About 4 out of 100 babies born to infected mothers are infected. However, the risk becomes greater if the mother has HIV infection or high levels of the virus in her blood.
- Can I get sick from mosquito bites and Pets?
It is almost impossible to get infected from mosquito bites and Pets.
Signs and symptoms of Hepatitis C
- What are the signs of acute hepatitis C?
Approximately 70% -80% of patients with acute HS have no symptoms. Some people, however, may note from mild to severe manifestations of the disease some time after infection, including:
-loss of appetite;
– darkening of urine;
– the lightening of the faeces;
– jaundice (yellow skin or eye sclera)
- How soon after infection do symptoms appear?
Symptoms occur on average, 6-7 weeks after infection, although the duration can vary from 2 weeks to 6 months. However, many infected people do not notice any signs.
- Is the asymptomatic course of the disease possible?
If the patient does not notice any manifestations of the disease, it can be the spread of the virus.
- Is it possible to be sick and not know it?
Many infected people are unaware of the disease because they do not feel sick.
- What are the symptoms of chronic stage?
Most people with chronic Hep C do not have any signs. However, if a person has been infected for many years, his liver may be damaged. In many cases, the symptoms of this disease do not appear until there is a problem with the liver. Cvgs is often detected in individuals without manifestations, during a routine blood test to assess liver function or liver enzymes (involved in protein synthesis).
Diagnosis, what tests need to pass?
- Can a sick person have normal liver enzymes?
As a rule, individuals with cvgs are characterized by a wave-like change in the level of liver enzymes, and they can periodically return to normal or be almost normal. Some infected individuals have normal levels of liver enzymes for more than one year, even with existing liver damage. If liver enzymes are normal, it is necessary to be checked several times within 6-12 months. If the enzymes are stable normal, the doctor may recommend checking them less often, for example, once a year.
- Testing for chronic HCV need to go if:
– you used drugs in the past .;
– you had surgery before 1989.;
– you had blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1989;
– you received hemodialysis.;
– there are deviations in liver samples;
– you are a health worker and have had contact with the blood of patients;
-you are infected with HIV;
-if you are pregnant, you need to be tested for HCV infection.
- What blood tests are used for testing?
Diagnosis of chronic HCV involves several different blood tests. The doctor may prescribe one or more of these tests. As a rule, first of all, a screening test is done that shows the presence of antibodies to HCV (antibodies to the virus are proteins contained in the blood produced by the body in response to the virus). The presence of a positive antibody test means that the body has had contact with the virus. If the antibody test is positive, the doctor is likely to prescribe a test for the presence of the virus itself. You can read more about the list of analyses in the section “Analyses”.
- What is the virus genotype and why is it determined? What is the virus genotype and why it is determined?
The virus genotype is a genetic variation (strain) of HCV. There are several genotypes of the virus C. In Russia, widespread types 1, 2 and 3. Genotype identification (genotyping) is important for determining the treatment regimen.
- What is viral load?
Viral load (concentration of the virus in the blood) — analysis showing the amount of virus in the blood plasma. Measured in IU/ml and copies/ml. This test is used when evaluating the effectiveness of treatment. There is no direct link between viral load and the severity of liver damage.
- Which viral load indicators are considered high and which are not?
High is considered anything above 800 *103 or 800.000 IU/ml, which is approximately 300*104 or 3,000,000 copies /ml.
- Is it necessary to treat the acute stage of the disease?
Yes, I do. In addition to antiviral therapy, doctors usually prescribe detoxification therapy, recommend rest, adequate nutrition, abundant drinking.
- Is it possible to prevent the chronicity of the disease?
Based on available data, peginterferon monotherapy can be used for 12 weeks in patients with acute hepatitis C. up to 90% of patients treated are cured. It is also possible to use a non-interferon treatment regimen (the treatment regimen is the same as with cvgs, only without ribavirin).
- Is it possible to be completely cured, what kind of treatment exists?
The aim of treatment is elimination (removal) of infection and prevention of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The effectiveness of treatment is assessed by PCR with a sensitivity above 15 IU/ml after 12 weeks (SVR 12) and 24 weeks (SVR 24) after end of treatment.
- Is it so that the body itself copes with the virus?
Each person should discuss antiviral therapy regimens with a doctor who specializes in the treatment of HCV infection. It can be a specialist in infectious diseases or a hepatologist (specialist in liver diseases). People with cvgs, both previously treated and untreated, are considered as candidates for treatment. Patients with severe fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver treatment is unambiguous. Until 2013, interferon treatment regimens were used. Today interferon treatment is used only in rare cases. Modern drugs, so – called direct-acting drugs, are a class of inhibitors that are taken in the form of capsules or tablets daily for 8-24 weeks and provide an efficiency of up to 95%. For more information, see the section “Treatment”.
- What can be done to support the liver?
Approximately 15% -25% of infected people have the virus “goes away” without treatment, and chronic infection does not develop. It is not yet clear why this is happening in some of the infected.
- How much does the treatment cost?
People with HCV should be supervised by an experienced physician. They should avoid alcohol as it can cause additional liver damage. Be sure to consult with medical professionals before taking any drugs without a prescription, dietary Supplements or other drugs, as they can harm the liver. Ask your doctor about the need for vaccination against hepatitis B and A.
- What if there is no money for antiviral drugs?
The cost of therapy depends on the choice of antiviral drugs and treatment regimen. Today, due to the emergence of relatively inexpensive analogues of new antivirals, mainly Indian and Egyptian production, the cost of treatment can be $300-1200.
- Are there restrictions on employment for infected people?
In the Russian Federation, as well as in Ukraine, the Republic of Belarus and Kazakhstan, annual regional and national programs for the preferential and free provision of drugs for the treatment of HCV started at different times. The relevance of these programs should be learned in the local offices of the Ministry of health,as well as regional centers for the treatment of hepatitis and HIV infection. Also for free treatment, you can participate in various clinical studies that evaluate the effectiveness and safety of new therapy regimens.
- What is the confection of HIV and HCV?
Infected people cannot be dismissed from work because of infection unless their work involves contact with blood or blood products. The confections of HIV and HCV means infection, like HIV and hepatitis C. co-Infection is more common in individuals who inject drugs. In fact, 50% -90% of HIV-infected persons who inject drugs also have HCV infection.
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- Can I be a blood, organ or sperm donor if I have cvgs?
If you have antibodies to HCV, you can not be a donor of blood, sperm or organs, as this can lead to infection of other people.
- Are there vaccines that can prevent the disease?
So far, only vaccines are available from hepatitis A and B. Although scientific research in this area is underway.
- How long does the virus live outside the body?
HCV can retain its properties at room temperature on the surface of the environment for at least 16 hours, but not more than 4 days
- How to handle blood stains, to make sure they are safe.
Any blood stains, including dry blood, which can contain a virus, must be treated with a solution of one part of chlorine in 10 parts of water. In doing so, use disposable rubber gloves.