What is hepatitis C?
More and more people on the planet hear from doctors such a formidable diagnosis as hepatitis C. What is it? How is it treated and can infection be prevented? Let's try to understand.
What is hepatitis C?
Inflammation of the liver caused by various causes(drugs, toxic substances, alcohol, bacteria, viruses) is called hepatitis. Different types of this disease (A, B, C) cause different types of viruses, they have differences in transmission routes, clinic and flow.
The most formidable is hepatitis C, because it can be asymptomatic for a long time, leading to cirrhosis or liver cancer. It is for this reason that he is called a "gentle killer."
Hepatitis C is transmitted with the blood of a sick person,so in the risk zone are people who received blood transfusions, who underwent organ transplantation, and medical workers in contact with the infected. But most of the ill can be found among those who use drugs.
There is also the possibility of transmission of hepatitis Cduring sexual intercourse, when using a toothbrush or a razor of a sick person. Dental instruments, devices for tattooing and piercing can also cause infection if hygiene rules are not followed.
Mothers who are carriers of the hepatitis C virus, in about 4% of cases, give birth to infected children. The risk increases if the woman is also HIV-infected.
Symptoms of hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a disease that can take a long timedoes not manifest itself. The first symptoms can appear in 2 weeks or 6 months after infection. Up to 70% of people do not experience any signs of illness for many years, although their liver undergoes significant changes.
In acute hepatitis C, suchsymptoms like fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, clarifying feces and darkening of the urine, as well as icteric sclera and skin. The severity of each feature can be different and does not depend on the number of viruses in the blood.
Chronic hepatitis C usually has an asymptomatic course, sometimes even the enzyme indices remain normal, because their level changes occur undulating.
Know what Hepatitis C is, should everyonepeople, and it is necessary to pass the diagnosis to all people at risk, such as drug addicts, people who have undergone blood transfusions or organ transplants, medical workers, and people with HIV infection.
Women in the early stages of pregnancy also have to learn what is hepatitis C, since a screening test for the presence of antibodies to the virus is included in the list of mandatory tests.
In addition to determining antibodies (proteins that are produced by the body in response to a virus), a test is conducted to detect the virus itself in the body and the biochemical parameters of the blood.
Medical measures in the acute period of the disease are aimed at preventing the development of a chronic process in the liver. This is achieved by taking the drug "Interferon alfa2".
Treatment of chronic hepatitis C is an opportunitycomplete recovery or long-term remission. However, in this case, a person needs to undergo a test for hepatitis C every year, and he can never be a donor (blood or body).
In addition to interferon, in the therapy is usedpreparation "Ribavarin". Treatment for each patient is assigned an individual, so patients should be under the supervision of a hepatologist or infectious disease specialist. It is impossible to take any funds independently, especially dietary supplements. In addition, during treatment, alcohol and fatty, spicy, and smoked food are excluded.
It is noticed that in 15-25% of people the hepatitis C virus "leaves" the body without treatment and does not lead to the process chronicization. While there is no explanation for this.
To date, there is no vaccine against the causative agent of the disease, although carefully studied and to learn what hepatitis C, began back in the early 90's.
In order to protect yourself, you must follow basic rules of hygiene, avoid contact with someone else's razors and toothbrushes, and when contacting blood, use disposable gloves.