What Is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C, characterized by liver inflammation, occurs after contracting the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Since HCV spreads through blood, it can only be transmitted through blood. In the United States, hepatitis C is one of the most common types of hepatitis, along with hepatitis A and B. There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B, but there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. The WHO estimates that approximately 58 million people worldwide have persistent hepatitis C.

Stages of Hepatitis C

Both acute or chronic hepatitis C can occur.

Acute Hepatitis C: Acute hepatitis CTrusted Source is typically referred to by physicians as the first six months following infection. Typically, there are no symptoms. Within two to twelve weeks of exposure, you may experience any symptoms, which may resolve on their own.

Chronic Hepatitis C: It’s side effects can develop over the course of months or even years. It’s conceivable that you won’t see any side effects until they get awful. Moreover, it can bring about serious, even deadly inconveniences whenever left untreated, for example, liver disease, liver scarring (cirrhosis), and liver cancer

What Happens When You Have Hepatitis C Infection?


Exactly when you at first get an infection, it goes through what’s known as an incubation period. It is busy replicating in your body during this time. Until it reaches a point where your body can recognize the infection, the virus continues to multiply. Then, at that point, your protected system kicks in, and that is the place where you begin to see secondary effects.

Acute Infection

The incubation time frame for hepatitis C can endure somewhere in the range of two weeks to a half year. The intense period of sickness begins when your safe system kicks in. Furthermore, this is the point at which you start to exhibit side effects. Most of acute viral diseases manifest as fever and body swelling. However, since your liver is the primary site of inflammation in hepatitis, you probably won’t notice it.

Just 20% of individuals with side effects have intense hepatitis C. The people who are encountering side effects of the contamination can be treated with antivirals. Those who are experiencing symptoms of the infection can be treated with antivirals. Be that as it may, the larger part need side effects and know nothing about the requirement for treatment.

Chronic Infection

The vast majority (80%) can’t clear the infection without anyone else and foster a long haul, persistent disease. This indicates that their livers are always enlarged and inflamed. Cirrhosis is the process by which liver damage is caused by chronic hepatitis. The steady irritation of the liver in the long run prompts scarring.

Cirrhosis advances gradually more than quite a few years. It could speed up in the event that you have extra liver harm from different causes, for example, extreme liquor use. If your liver is in better overall condition, it might move more slowly. But the end result is that your liver can’t do its job because of scar tissue. After 20 years, chronic hepatitis C infection is associated with a 25% chance of cirrhosis.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C

The majority do not exhibit any symptoms. During the acute phase of the infection, a small number may exhibit symptoms. They might be obscure, influenza like side effects, or they might resemble the side effects of liver sickness, including stomach torment and jaundice. A lot later on, you might start to see side effects of late-stage liver illness when your liver is starting to come up short. Following are the early symptoms of hepatitis C:

Early signs are similar to the signs of severe influenza; such as

Additionally, they may resemble the signs of acute liver failure, such as:

When you begin to experience the effects of cirrhosis after many years of chronic infection, you may experience late warning symptoms of hepatitis if you do not have early warning symptoms. You might experience all of the aforementioned symptoms as well as:

Causes of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C

Contact with blood spreads the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Transmission occurs when infected blood enters the body of an uninfected person. The most well-known way this happens in the United States is when people share needles to administer intravenous medications. However, there are numerous coincidental ways in which you might come into contact with another person’s blood.

For instance:

Hepatitis C was frequently transmitted prior to 1992 through organ transplants and blood transfusions. Presently, medical care suppliers regularly screen for the infection prior to utilizing gave blood or organs. While it’s presently not a gamble from these causes, medical care suppliers suggest that every individual who got a bonding or relocate before 1992 get tried for HCV.

In the United States, you are more likely to contract hepatitis C if you:

Complications Possible with Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C virus causes swelling of your liver. This inflammation can lead to permanent scars, known as cirrhosis. This condition disrupts normal blood flow and badly affect liver functions. 15 to 30% of people with chronic hepatitis C get cirrhosis in 20 years. If cirrhosis isn’t treated, it can result in the increased pressure in the veins supplying the liver (portal hypertension). It also makes your abdomen fill with fluid which cause serious abdomen infection. Additionally, it causes swelling in the legs (edema), an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly), and dilated veins in the food pipe or stomach (varices), which can lead to potentially fatal bleeding (variceal haemorrhage). 

Some liver diseases can also cause further complications like:

Chronic hepatitis C typically progresses slowly over many years before it causes severe liver diseases or liver failure. This condition develops gradually, often over months to years, as the liver loses its ability to work effectively. When liver function disrupts severely, patients need to transplant defected liver with a healthy one. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Hepatitis C

If you have signs of hepatitis C, your doctor will first perform blood test to check for the virus. This test begins with an antibody test. If you had hepatitis C before, your body will start making antibodies in response. This process can take 2 to 3 months after you were exposed for the test to find these antibodies. If this tests show positive, then doctor will perform other test, known as nucleic acid test. This tests examine if the virus still active in your body. 

If doctor find its right genotype, it will help the right treatment. Ultrasound Elastography scan also use to assess liver damage. Moreover, a liver biopsy is also most recommended to evaluate liver health. These tests help doctors to examine how much your liver is damaged and which treatment will be the best? 

Oral medications known as direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) used to get rid of hepatitis C. It lowers the chance of liver problems. Liver specialists mostly give a mix of two or more DDAs together. Some treatments also come in pills. These treatments are effective to treat hepatitis C . Moreover, it manages liver infection and cure damages. 

Read More: How Bird Flu Influenza Spreads from Birds to Humans? Symptoms and Treatment

To Conclude

Understanding Hepatitis C is essential because if it remain untreated for a long time, it can cause serious complications for your health. Currently, there is no vaccine, effective treatments are available to manage this disease. That’s why, we can’t prevent severe complications like cirrhosis and liver cancer. But, early diagnosis through blood tests and timely treatment with antiviral medications can improve your health. You should aware of the risks and preventive measures to stay informed and proactive. By doing this, you can prevent yourself and others from this life-threatening disease. 


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