Oct 27, 2023
Hepatitis C is a virus-induced condition that causes inflammation, or swelling, in the liver. Hepatitis C has the potential to cause severe liver damage. People can transmit the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by contact with blood.
Most people with chronic, or persistent, hepatitis C prefer the more recent generation of antiviral drugs. Chronic hepatitis C is often treated with these medications.
Many hepatitis C sufferers, nevertheless, are not aware that they have the disease. This is mostly because symptoms can not appear for decades.
Hepatitis C infection is brought on by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection spreads when blood containing the virus gets into the body of a healthy person.
Numerous genotypes of hepatitis C infection are widespread throughout the world.
Chronic hepatitis C always develops in the same way, regardless of the genotype of the virus that causes it. However, the treatment plan may vary depending on the viral genotype. However, a variety of genotypes can be treated by modern antiviral drugs.
Acute hepatitis C is usually not detected because symptoms are rarely present. Fever, headaches, nausea, lethargy, and jaundice are possible symptoms during this stage.
A prolonged hepatitis C infection is referred to as chronic hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis C usually doesn't cause any symptoms for a long time. The virus doesn't cause symptoms to appear until it has damaged the liver enough to cause them.
Among the symptoms could be:
Not every instance of acute hepatitis C infection develops into a chronic illness. Some people eliminate the virus from their bodies after the acute phase. This is known as spontaneous viral clearance. Antiviral drugs are another treatment option for acute hepatitis C.
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Additional blood testing can be done if a screening test indicates a diagnosis of hepatitis C.
Some or all of the following tests attempt to identify liver damage in patients of chronic hepatitis C.
Antiviral medications are used to treat hepatitis C. They help in the pathogen's removal from the body. The goal of treatment is to completely remove the hepatitis C virus from the body for a minimum of 12 weeks after treatment ends.
A more modern family of drugs known as direct-acting antivirals has better outcomes, fewer side effects, and shorter treatment times. The shortest treatment period is eight weeks. The choice of drugs and length of treatment are influenced by the hepatitis C genotype, liver damage, comorbid conditions, and prior medical interventions.
Throughout treatment, the care team keeps an eye on how the patient is responding to the drug and any side effects. The standard course of treatment with direct-acting antiviral medications is 12 weeks.
The rate of change in treatment is being accelerated by research. It is therefore advised to discuss treatment alternatives with a physician.
A liver transplant may be an option if a chronic hepatitis C infection seriously damages the liver. During a liver transplant, a surgeon removes the damaged liver and implants a healthy liver. A very small portion comes from livers that are partially donated by living donors otherwise most of the donors are the persons who have already died.
Usually, a liver transplant cannot treat hepatitis C on its own. The infection will probably return. Additional antiviral drug therapy is necessary to prevent damage to the developing liver. Numerous studies have shown that using more modern antiviral drugs, hepatitis C can be treated after transplant. The more modern antivirals can sometimes cure hepatitis C before a liver transplant.
There is no hepatitis C immunization. A medical practitioner would, however, likely suggest receiving a vaccination against the hepatitis A and B viruses. These viruses also carry the risk of aggravating hepatitis C and damaging the liver.
Some protective factors against hepatitis C infection include:
A prolonged hepatitis C infection might have dangerous consequences, such as these:
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