Amirabad Pathobiology and Virology Laboratory


What is hepatitis C?

Date: 2 سال قبل

author: AmirAbad

What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage.
It’s caused by the hepatitis C virus. The virus spreads through an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
There are many forms of the hepatitis C virus, or HCV. The most common in the U.S. is type 1. None is more serious than any other, but they respond differently to treatment.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?
Not everyone with hepatitis C virus experiences symptoms. In fact, about 80 percent Trusted Source of people don’t notice any signs of illness when they first contract the virus.
Symptoms that do develop may vary, depending on whether you have the acute or chronic form of the condition.
Symptoms you might experience include:
·       fever
·       lingering fatigue
·       joint pain
·       nausea or stomach pain
·       loss of appetite
·       dark urine
·       gray or pale stools
·       jaundice
The hepatitis C virus affects people in different ways and has several stages:
·       Incubation period. This is the time between first exposure to the start of the disease. It can last anywhere from 14 to 80 days, but the average is 45
·       Acute hepatitis C: This is a short-term illness that lasts for the first 6 months after the virus enters your body. After that, some people who have it will get rid of, or clear, the virus on their own.
·       Chronic hepatitis C : For most people who get hepatitis C -- up to 85% -- the illness moves into a long-lasting stage (longer than 6 months). This is called a chronic hepatitis C infection and can lead to serious health problems like liver cancer or cirrhosis.
·       Cirrhosis : This disease leads to inflammation that, over time, replaces your healthy liver cells with scar tissue. It usually takes about 20 to 30 years for this to happen, though it can be faster if you drink alcohol or have HIV.
·       Liver cancer: Cirrhosis makes liver cancer more likely. Your doctor will make sure you get regular tests because there are usually no symptoms in the early stages.
How Do You Get Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C spreads when blood or body fluids contaminated with the hepatitis C virus get into your bloodstream through contact with an infected person.
You can be exposed to the virus from:
·       organ transplants
·       sharing items, like razors or toothbrushes
·       sharing needles
·       childbirth (the person giving birth can pass the virus to the baby)
·       sexual contact, if blood is exchanged
·       getting a tattoo or a piercing with nonsterile equipment
You can also contract the virus again if you’ve had it before.
How is hepatitis C diagnosed?
·       Anti-HCV antibodies: These are proteins your body makes when it finds the hep C virus in your blood.
·       HCV RNA: It measures the number of viral RNA (genetic material from the hepatitis virus) particles in your blood.
·       Liver function tests: They measure proteins and enzyme levels
·       Genotype test: This test can reveal which hepatitis C genotype you have. This information will help your healthcare professional find an effective treatment approach.
·       Liver biopsy: This procedure can also help check for liver damage. A biopsy involves taking a small piece of tissue from your liver and testing it for cell abnormalities.
Can You Prevent Hepatitis C Infection?
There’s no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. To avoid getting the virus:
·       Use a latex condom every time you have sex.
·       Don't share personal items like razors.
·       Don't share needles, syringes, or other equipment when injecting drugs.
·       Be careful if you get a tattoo, body piercing, or manicure. The equipment may have someone else's blood on it.

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