Over 2% of humanity on earth today is infected with the hepatitis C virus – an infectious liver disease. And annually statistics confirms the growth of this indicator. An interesting fact is that the infection of a person is a rather complicated process, since hepatitis C is not spread by airborne droplets, or through dirty hands, or by using common utensils.
In order for an infection to occur, particles of the blood of a sick person must enter the blood of a healthy person. Therefore, more than 40% of reported cases of hepatitis C occur in young people infected with repeated use of syringes and needles for administering intravenous drugs, that is, an increase in the incidence rate is directly associated with an increase in drug addiction.
Also, the probability of infection with the hepatitis C virus is not excluded if sanitary norms are not followed during various medical procedures and manipulations. It is known that the hepatitis C virus quickly dies at high temperature, while boiling and is susceptible to destruction from ultraviolet radiation.
The incubation period for hepatitis C can be short – about two weeks, and can reach 26 weeks. That is, from the moment of infection to the appearance of the first symptoms of hepatitis, it can take even six months or a year. On average, it is considered that the incubation period for hepatitis C is 49 days (14 -150 days).
When a person leads a healthy lifestyle and has good health, most often there is a passive carrier of the virus, but the virus slowly destroys the liver without clear symptoms of the disease.
Sometimes hepatitis C can be acute with symptoms very similar to other viral hepatitis – hepatitis B, at the same time, a person experiences general weakness, fatigue, dyspepsia, pain in the joints, vomiting appears, however, neither jaundice nor fever is characteristic of hepatitis C.
The insidiousness of this virus lies in the fact that acute hepatitis in 80% of patients then takes on a chronic form, which in turn is fraught with the development of cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. When, in addition to hepatitis C, a person has other liver diseases, other types of viral hepatitis, this greatly aggravates the patient’s condition and causes a high mortality rate of such patients.
Considering the long incubation period of hepatitis C, the erased symptoms of a sluggish process, it is often impossible to establish the time and fact of infection, and even acute hepatitis C is often diagnosed by chance and very rarely. In addition, there is no effective vaccine against hepatitis C.
But the modern pharmacological industry does not stand still, and today a number of quite effective drugs that suppress the reproduction of the hepatitis C virus have already been developed, and the number of medicines is increasing every year. With adequate, timely treatment in 75% of cases, a cure for this insidious disease is possible.
Considering the risk factors for hepatitis C infection, in order to prevent infection with this dangerous disease, try to follow these recommendations:
- Never use someone else’s personal hygiene items that might contain human blood – toothbrushes, razors, etc.
- Control all medical procedures that you undergo, for example, when you receive from a dentist, take an interest and make sure that all manipulations are performed with disposable tools only.
- Use the services of only proven, well-known manicure or tattoo salons, make sure that the procedure performer washes his hands and uses disposable devices, gloves, do not hesitate to control them.
- People who do not have regular sexually active sexual partners should use condoms, as partners may not know themselves that they have hepatitis C or are carriers of the virus.