Hepatitis C

Cause and Mode of Transmission

Hepatitis C is blood borne. Sharing needles to inject drugs or tattooing is a common cause. Even minute quantities of infected blood are dangerous. In many cases there are no early warning symptoms until liver damage is far advanced.

Most are unaware that they have the disease because there are no symptoms until the disease has reached an advanced stage, which may take up to 20 years. In some cases Hepatitis C leads to chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis (irreversible and potentially fatal scarring of the liver), liver cancer or liver failure.

 

Symptoms

May have mild flu-like symptoms, jaundice, fatigue, fever.

 

Treatment

There is no vaccine. The current standard of care is a combination of 2 antiviral drugs. All people with chronic liver disease, including hepatitis C, should be immunised against both Hepatitis A and B. A second infection by either virus can cause your liver to become worse. For those whose Hepatitis C is more advanced, drug treatment may be appropriate and must be administered after careful assessment by your physician.

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