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Is Acute Hepatitis C Infection Serious?

Many people have heard about such a serious liver disease as hepatitis C. Mankind has overwhelmed lots of serious diseases, but not this one. It was discovered quite recently, in the middle of 1970s, much later than hepatitis A and B. Sadly, this disease is spread much wider than AIDS and kills a larger number of people every year, although it doesn’t attract so much attention to itself in comparison with AIDS. Currently, this form of the virus ranks first in the number of infected patients who have severe liver complications. Studies conducted around the world have shown that 80% of patients suffering from liver dysfunction had HCV infection.

Since this disease is so serious, it’s better to know everything about it: what is it, can it be cured, by which means etc. Probably the most frequently asked questions are: how is hepatitis C transmitted and what are its causes? In this article we will try to make them clear, as well as many other issues.

How Is Hepatitis C Transmitted?

Hepatitis C is an anthroponous infectious disease of liver that develops after an infection contamination with the corresponding virus, which spreads mainly via contact with the infected blood. Hepatitis invades the organism of a patient via direct contact of the blood of an infected person with the one of an uninfected person. In the overwhelming majority of cases, this occurs when blood of an ill person, who can be only the carrier of the virus, enters the blood of a healthy person during an injection with a dirty needle, for example, among drug addicts.

Also, the virus can be transmitted in tattoo studios during tattooing, in manicure and beauty salons, during piercing, in dental rooms, as a result of improper implementation of the measures for disinfection of medical tools. Transfusions of blood and surgical operations provide the possibility of infection, all the same with neglect of disinfection measures of tools and carelessness when testing blood donors for hepatitis C. To date, this way of getting infected takes place very seldom, because strict sanitary norms and regulations are obligatory for execution even in all developing countries.

An unpleasant feature of hepatitis C is that a person can become infected with it during a sexual act. The probability of such a situation is about 3-5%. It seems to be rather small, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that it still exists. Random and unprotected sex sufficiently increase such a risk. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine if you or your partner are infected or not by external signs. In case when one of the sexual partners has hepatitis C, it is recommended to use a condom in order to minimize the risk of transmission during a sexual intercourse.

A person can’t get infected with hepatitis C during everyday contacts, handshakes, kisses, by airborne droplets. Exceptions are the contact of blood containing the virus through abrasions, cuts and other skin lesions, between the infected person and the uninfected one, which is extremely rare.

There is a very small chance for a baby to become infected with hepatitis during pregnancy. Infection usually occurs during birth, when the baby contacts with the blood of his mother, or in case of various pathologies when placental integrity is violated during pregnancy.

Thus, it can be concluded that the causes of hepatitis C are connected mostly with a person’s lifestyle and the level of development of the country the person lives in.

Chronic Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is present in acute or chronic forms. Its peculiarity is a long asymptomatic period, during which permanent complications develop and there is the possibility of transmission of the virus to healthy people, therefore, hepatitis C is often called “affectionate killer” or “tender killer” – in the media as well as among patients and doctors. The asymptomatic period can last for six months and more, during which the patient doesn’t feel any unpleasant sensations, and the presence of the virus in the organism can be found only due to complex clinical blood tests. However, even during this period the organism is getting ruined.

The probability to get infected with hepatitis C in acute form and completely recover from it during a year is, according to various sources, up to 10-30%. Because of absence of the symptoms the disease is seldom found in acute stage, it is discovered usually occasionally, and, unfortunately, this leads to a huge reduce in the number of patients who managed to get rid of hepatitis C during the acute stage.

The acute stage usually doesn’t last longer than half a year. Most often acute hepatitis C passes into a chronic stage, which is even worse than acute one because of guaranteed development of long-term consequences. If the liver is inflamed for more than half a year, the disease becomes chronic. It is inevitable, since the treatment of this disease is effective far not in any cases, and a patient can live the rest of his life with HCV, which results in serious problems with liver, like cirrhosis and liver cancer. These two complications are the most formidable ones, and even modern medicine doesn’t have an ability to cure them.

Symptoms of chronic hepatitis can be not specific, or they can be expressed just slightly, or they can be not pronounced at all. It makes self-diagnostics practically useless – it is recommended not to guess, but to go to the doctor and to make analysis of blood.

If a patient is just a carrier of the virus, he may not have any symptoms of the disease.

If the organism of a patient is weak, the symptoms of this disease begin being expressed earlier and brighter. The patient feels increased fatigue, his appetite is low. Severity and pressure in the right side – hypochondrium – signalize about increased size of the liver and its compaction. He experiences general health decline, problems with digestion etc. These symptoms usually take place in case of persistent form of chronic hepatitis. Jaundice takes place rather seldom, only about 5% of adult patients with hepatitis have it.

In case of active form of chronic hepatitis the symptoms mentioned above are expressed brighter, and their spectrum is larger, forming the picture of classical liver failure: vascular sprouts, deterioration of blood coagulability, itching of the skin, enlarged liver and spleen, intolerance to fatty foods, loss of weight, increased temperature. The symptoms don’t necessarily present all at once, they can differ in different patients – some may be absent, some others may be present.

Can Hepatitis C Be Cured?

Of course, every person who learned about being infected with hepatitis C wants to know if it can be cured. It is possible, however, a lot depends on timely and resolute actions of both the patient and the doctor.

First of all, to cure hepatitis C a patient should visit a doctor and pass a through medical examination. During the examination, the doctor will establish the type and phase of infection, access the liver condition. All these factors sufficiently affect the choice of treatment regime, its effectiveness and safety for the suffering organism. Diagnostics of chronic hepatitis C requires the consultations of a good specialist, and it is better not to try saving money on it. The doctor who deals with liver problems, including hepatitis, is called hepatologist.

The patient shouldn’t wait with treatment – it is strongly recommended to go to the doctor at once when for the first time the signs of a hepatitis were found, even just anti-HCV. Usually the treatment begins if changes in the liver are found, for example, elevation of ALT.

It is very important to remember that chronic hepatitis C can’t fade away on its own and requires treatment. This treatment can be very long, especially if the disease wasn’t caught in the beginning.

Rather often the development of chronic hepatitis C is benign and is expressed in the form of carriage without symptoms, or they are mildly pronounced. However, in this case, too, a person needs to be obligatory monitored by a doctor, because the risk of activation of the disease and the development of dangerous outcomes is maintained all the time during which the person is the carrier of the virus. If chronic hepatitis C passes with significant changes in hepatic samples, such patients need antiviral therapy.

The number of people suffering from chronical hepatitis C reaches 150 million people all around the world, which allows to consider this disease a universal scourge of our time. Chronic hepatitis C leads to serious complications and failures in the organism. On its background, cirrhosis and cancer of liver can develop. Hepatitis is a cunning disease: sometimes its symptoms manifest only at the stage of cirrhosis, when treatment is not effective or is aimed just at improving the quality of life.

Hepatitis C is a serious infection, but there exist some ways to conquer it. The feature of the treatment of this disease is that in each case an individual course of therapy is necessary. The methods of treating hepatitis in chronic form are based on interferon therapy, the treatment of acute form requires compliance with the regime, a full-fledged diet, elimination of alcohol, antiviral therapy. The treatment is usually conducted in the hospital, semi-strict bed rest is prescribed. Hepatitis in acute stage can worsen because of exercise stresses and physical activity at all. The patient should sleep not less than seven hours a day, the more, the better.

A patient must remember that the timely detection of the disease helps to achieve much greater results in treatment, allows to avoid the development of cirrhosis and the appearance of malignant tumors. In patients with active hepatitis, which is seen by a constantly increased activity of transaminases, the risk of transformation into cirrhosis within 20 years is very high. If a patient has cirrhosis, the risk of cancer increases very much. Among all the consequences of hepatitis, liver cancer has always been scaring people more than anything else. The most number of patients with liver cancer suffer from one of the forms of hepatitis. Cirrhosis, advanced age, male gender, use of alcohol – all these factors significantly increase the risk of cancer, though scientists even now, taking into consideration the newest technologies, don’t have the exact explanation of how the virus of hepatitis provokes liver cancer.

Nowadays the standard of antiviral therapy of hepatitis C is the use of interferon-alpha and ribavirin. These medications are usually prescribed together, because each of them strengthens the effect of the other. However, in some cases like intolerance of the patient to one of these drugs, the doctor can choose one of these medicines together with additional drugs like hepatoprotectors and immunomodulators. Still they are just auxiliary medicines, and the infection can’t be cured only by their use.

If a person has discovered that he is infected with hepatitis, he should be aware that the successful outcome of the process of treatment depends not only on the actions of physicians, but on the patient’s mindfulness and compliance with recommendations as well.

Hepatitis C Treatment in India Cost

The history of treatment of hepatitis C is not very long, because it began only in late 1980s. Still, medicine develops very quickly, and in recent years the modern schemes of treatment already allowed up to 60 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C to get rid of this infection forever.

Hepatitis C treatment in India has become very popular among medical tourists. In this country, a huge number of people suffer from hepatitis C – more than ten million. Thus, hepatitis C is the national problem there, and the authorities made all their efforts to minimize the cost of treatment and to make it available for all comers. In India lots of profile state and private clinics are engaged in treating hepatitis at the highest level. In India, treatment of hepatitis C is carried out using different medications, for example, ledipasvir and sofosbuvir, the efficacy of which allows more than 90% of patients to completely recover and get rid of this infectious disease.

Not only treatment, but research work is also carried out in medical complexes and research centers. Indian health service is to date one of the best in the world, though people used to consider the USA and Germany the leading countries in the sphere of medical tourism. In addition, cost of treatment in India is very reasonable, not at the expense of quality.

In India women can undergo hepatitis C treatment in pregnancy. It is very important to undergo at least one course of treatment during pregnancy if a woman is infected with hepatitis C, no matter if she is suffering from an acute or chronic form. Such treatment allows to sufficiently reduce the risk of the baby becoming infected during birth. Best specialists of Indian clinics will do their best to care about the health of a mother and her baby.

Treatment hepatitis C in

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • France
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

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