All About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a medical condition that is caused by a virus which targets the liver. It is now considered as one of the most significant health problems faced by countries all over the world. In the United States alone, there are more than four million Americans that have been diagnosed with the hepatitis C virus. Although there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of people with hepatitis C, aggressive efforts to educate the public about this medical disease is still ongoing.
The Hepatitis C Virus
Hepatitis C is caused by the HCV virus which attacks the liver, causing it to scar and eventually fail. One misconception of hepatitis C is that it is a variety of hepatitis A, B, D and E virus. In reality, hepatitis C is actually categorized alongside with other viruses that cause dengue and yellow fever.
What makes hepatitis virus to be extremely dangerous is that there is just not one strain of virus that infects people today. In fact, medical experts have determined that there are six varieties of the hepatitis C virus that is present in the United States and all over the world. This is the reason why there are some cases of hepatitis C where the patient does not respond to the given medications and treatment provided by hospitals and medical practitioners.
There are a number of reasons why the virus has mutated over the years. One of these reasons is that the virus had been able to replicate itself with each replication having a strain that is more resistant to medications and treatments than the previous.
How is Hepatitis C Transmitted?
Hepatitis C is transmitted from one person to another through the use any of the following:
• Improper screening of blood for blood transfusion
• Sharing of contaminated needles between drug users
• Engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is infected with hepatitis C
• Having multiple sex partners
• The use of organs of deceased individuals with hepatitis C for organ transplant
• Coming into contact with hepatitis C infected blood through an open wound
Further Complications of Hepatitis C
Apart from causing liver failure and cancer, hepatitis C virus have also been known to cause a number of ailments that are just as life threatening. The most common complication is Cryoglobulinemia. Cryoglobulinemia is a medical condition where there is an excessive production of white blood cells in the blood stream causing the blood vessels and the tissues to become inflamed.
What is Being Done?
The severity of the problem of hepatitis C has caused many state and local officials to begin campaigns to educate the public about this disease. As more and more people have become aware of this medical condition, more and more steps are also being done to ensure their protection from the virus. One method done is the inclusion of hepatitis C screening tests on blood and organ donors. Currently, they are developing a vaccine against this virus to increase our immunity against this virus.