Hepatitis C Symptoms
Hepatitis C Prevention
Hepatitis A and B both have available vaccines, but there is currently no vaccine available for Hepatitis C, making it essential to know of other preventative measures to take.
One of the best ways to prevent Hepatitis C is to become educated on how the virus is transmitted. Hepatitis C is transmitted through sexual contact and blood-to-blood exposure. Those with multiple partners are at greater risk of catching Hepatitis C. Compared to other STDs, HCV is less commonly transmitted through vaginal, oral, or anal sexual activity, but it is possible. Exposure to infected blood through open wounds, by sharing razors, or by sharing needles (intravenous drug use, tattooing, and piercing) is a common way Hepatitis C is transmitted.
It’s true that at one time Hepatitis was commonly transmitted through organ transplants and blood transfusions, but precautionary measures have been practiced since the 1990s to ensure the safety of all individuals involved. Most professional establishments that provide tattooing and piercing take strict sanitary precautions to avoid spreading Hepatitis C, but many amateur tattoo and piercing artists don’t take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Therefore, we strongly urge individuals to take caution when participating in such activities.
Hepatitis C is not easily spread throughout a household. It isn’t spread through sharing food, kissing, hugging, hand holding, sneezing, or coughing. Hepatitis C also can’t survive outside the human body after being at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
If there is a chance you are experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis C, or have been exposed to the virus, it is recommended that you get tested as soon as possible.
Treatment for Hepatitis C
The treatment you receive for Hepatitis C will depend on the severity of the infection. Fortunately, medicine can cure the virus for approximately 80 to 90% of those infected with HCV. For some, approximately 25% of those infected, treatment won’t be necessary because their body will naturally fight the virus. Most of these individuals will be unaware they ever contracted Hepatitis C.
If you are diagnosed with acute Hepatitis C, it is likely your doctor will prescribe a precautionary antiviral medication to keep you from developing chronic Hepatitis C. For acute Hepatitis C, the general goal for treatment is to be virus free for 12 consecutive weeks, after the patient completes their medication.
Those diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis C make be prescribed a medication that will help to alleviate the symptoms of Hepatitis C. Some consumables, such as over-the counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and alcohol can cause liver damage in HCV-infected individuals. Regular check-ups with your doctor to discuss safety in consuming supplements, medications, and over-the-counter medications can help to ensure your health and safety.