Hepatitis Virus C Infection

Hepatitis Virus C Infection, HCV

The chronic Infection, HCV


What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is an infection that is caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) Hepatitis C is severe after the first six months of exposure to the virus 15% – 25% of people are able to fight the disease and eliminating the virus without treatment 75% – 85% of patients develop their disease to a chronic or remain lifelong infection.


Is hepatitis C common?


Yes, often hepatitis C is common. 3% of the world’s population is infected with HCV. 4 million in Europe and 3.2 million in the United States. Many people are not aware of hepatitis C because no symptoms are present.

Where I come from, Egypt, has the largest epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the world. The recently released Egyptian Demographic Health Survey [EDHS]* tested a representative sample of the entire country for HCV antibody.  The sample included both urban and rural populations and included all 27 governorates of Egypt. Over 11,000 individuals were tested. The overall prevalence (percentage of people) positive for antibody to HCV was 14.7%.


What are the ways of transmission?


Hepatitis C is transmitted in several ways, including:

·      Injecting drugs or using false or unsafe injections.

·      By transplanting organs or transferring contaminated blood from a donor to a healthy person.

·      Acupuncture injuries within the scope of health care.

·      Birth of a fetus to a mother with HCV. In every four cases of 100 cases of an HCV-infected mother, an infected fetus is born.

.      HCV is rarely spread through sexual contact with a person who is infected with the HCV virus, or sharing personal objects contaminated with infected blood.

·      HCV may spread through medical treatment or dental treatment if the necessary precautions are not taken.

·      Hepatitis C is not transmitted by breast-feeding, food utensils, kissing, hugging, handshaking, shaking hands, sneezing, coughing, water, or contaminated food.

·     The mother who is infected with the disease must refrain from breastfeeding her child if there are any cracks, sores or bleeding in the breast.


What are the symptoms of acute hepatitis C?

Many people with HCV have no symptoms and are unaware of the disease. Approximately 20% -30% have symptoms such as: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, stool changes to gray, urine becomes dark, and pain in the joints. Symptoms develop from 2 to 24 weeks after exposure.


What are the symptoms of chronic hepatitis C?

Most people do not have any symptoms. Meanwhile, many people suffer from chronic liver disease and may range from mild to severe including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Chronic liver disease develops slowly without any obvious symptoms and can be detected through routine examination.

The condition is not limited to the liver in a small proportion of patients due to its response to the body’s immunity to HCV infection. These include diabetes, renal glomerulonephritis, and lymphoma.


How serious is hepatitis C?

.       In every 100 people with HCV:

·       75 – 85 develop the disease to chronic disease.

·       60 – 70 develop the disease into chronic liver disease.

·       5 – 20 develop their disease to cirrhosis within 20 – 30 years.

·       1 – 5 die due to chronic complications.


Who are the most likely to be infected with hepatitis C?


Although everyone is susceptible to hepatitis, some people are more likely to have hepatitis:

·       Chronic dialysis patients.

·       Health Care Staff.

·       Babies born with mothers with hepatitis C

·       Injecting drugs and sharing needles

·       Sexual contact with a sick person

·       A person suffering from HIV / AIDS.

·       By blood transfusion or blood donation or by members of an infected person.


What is the method of diagnosis of hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is diagnosed by blood test and by specific antibodies to HBV and antibodies 4-10 weeks after infection. Diagnosis may be wrong and you must undergo additional tests to confirm. Such as a PCR test to detect viral RNA. Sometimes the diagnosis is sinful when the proportion of antibodies is too low to be detected. Undergo a quality test to investigate the presence or absence of HCV RNA. HCV RNA appears 2-3 weeks after the disease. Undergo a quality test to detect the number or diameter of the RNA virus.


What are the methods of treating hepatitis C?

The presence or absence of chronic liver disease should be diagnosed in people with HCV. Diagnosis should include testing, testing and severity of liver disease, as well as the need for HBV and HAV vaccination. Hepatitis C patients are treated with antivirals.

What are the ways to prevent hepatitis C?


There are no contraindications to prevent HCV infection. To reduce the risk of HCV infection:

·       Avoid sharing needles and other equipment and injecting cosmetic or medical materials.

·       Do not use personal tools related to the blood of a sick person such as a barber, a nail clipper, a toothbrush or a meter of glucose.

·       Do not receive a tattoo or pierce the body from an unauthorized place.

·       Cover cracks and wounds immediately.

·       Use gloves before taking blood or any body fluids.

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