HCV – TYPE C VIRAL HEPATITIS
Hepatitis C is an infectious viral acute (if it lasts less than 6 months), but usually a chronic inflammatory disease of the liver in which the viral infection persists for more than 6 months. Hepatitis is often not accompanied by any symptoms, but chronic virus infection can cause liver damage and scarring, cirrhosis, liver cancer, or severe swelling of the liver and stomach veins, which can lead to bleeding and death. It is not possible to be vaccinated against hepatitis C.
The hepatitis C virus cannot be described as a single virus, in fact it is a large family of several viruses. They are divided into 11 genotypes, of which genotype 1 (HCV1), 2 (HCV2) and 3 (HCV3) exist in Slovakia. Each of these genotypes has several subtypes, and each subtype has its own quasi-strains. It is estimated that there are several thousand different quasi-strains of HCV. This diversity of HCV is why there is no HCV vaccine. At the same time, it means that you can become repeatedly infected with new types of HCV viruses. This worsens the health condition and may cause treatment complications.
Method of transmission
The most at-risk group are injection drug users and those who share contaminated needles and syringes, water for injection, and their injectable devices that come into contact with foreign blood. A If the mother is not treated, the baby can be infected from its mother during childbirth (risk is 5-15%) and pregnancy. Another possible transmission way is a transfusion of contaminated blood, blood products or contaminated tissue. An uncommon mode of transmission is unprotected sexual intercourse, the riskiest of which is anal sex, which has a high risk of injury to the inner wall of the anal canal, and sex during menstruation. You can also become infected with non-sterile tattoo or piercing tools, using common toothbrushes and razor blades. The method of transmission is unknown in 30% of cases.
The course of HCV
The disease can be undetected for a long time, as it has an inconspicuous, mild or even asymptomatic course. There are no specific symptoms in the acute phase of the disease, only about 10% of people have an increase in yellowing of the skin and scleras, dark urine, fatigue for no apparent cause, loss of appetite, nausea, joint and muscle pain and itching, anxiety, depression, tenderness areas under the right ribbed arch. The course of the disease is significantly worsened by alcohol consumption.
The chronic phase develops in about 80% of untreated infected people, of which about 20% develop cirrhosis within 20 years – scarring and hardening of the liver with a high risk of liver failure and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).
It is treated with antiviral medicines in the form of tablets. It is an interferon-free treatment that has excellent tolerability in patients and high effectiveness of complete cure. The tablets are taken for 12 weeks and the patient does not have to be hospitalized.
The insurance company reimburses relatively expensive treatment if the patient demonstrably abstains from drugs or undergoes substitution treatment and does not have debts on health insurance. Until recently, hepatitis C was treated with interferon injections and ribavirin with significant side effects.
The introduction of disposable medical supplies, the exchange of syringes for people who inject drugs and other measures have significantly contributed to reducing HCV infection in the population. Caution should also be devoted in tattoos and piercings as a possible route of infection if the use of disposable needles is neglected. People living with HCV should only use their own hygiene products (razor, towel, toothbrush, etc.) and should use male or female condoms during sexual intercourse, which reduce the risk of blood and sexually transmitted infections.
If you don’t have the option to use your own sterile drug needles, there are a few simple options for disinfection:
A) Use of bleach.
1. Wash the needle or material in cold water.
2. Draw the bleach into the syringe and allow it to act and spray for 30 seconds. Repeat 2 times. Soak the material (spoon) in bleach for 2 minutes.
3. Thoroughly wash items from bleach to avoid itchy feelings.
B) Cooking in boiling water for 15 minutes.
C) Singing the spoon with lighter and clean with an alcohol swab.
D) Cleaning with an alcohol swab.
E) Washing in cold water to help remove at least some of the blood. Do not use hot water as blood clots. Warning! HCV virus can survive in a syringe, spoon, filter, tourniquet, table or stairs, or in a container of shared water for up to 63 days. Disinfect even if you can’t see the blood. An amount that is not visible to the eye is sufficient for the transmission of HCV. It is always better to do at least something than nothing! Remember that you can become infected with HCV again, even if you already have the virus in you. There are many types of them and re-infection worsens your health.
Lam, N.C., Gotsch, P.B., Langan, R.C. Caring for pregnant women and newborns with hepatitis B or C.
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Maheswari, A., Ray, S., Thuluvath, PJ. Acute hepatitis
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