Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Several different viruses can infect the liver and cause hepatitis. One type of virus which causes hepatitis is called the hepatitis C virus
. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease
The main source of infection is from blood from an infected person, using contaminated needles from the infected person, sharing toothbrushes, razors, and other such items which may be contaminated with blood or when using the equipment which is not sterile for tattooing, body piercing or infected mother can pass on the infection to her baby and also there is risk that an infected person can pass on the virus while having sex.
The hepatitis C can be prevented by not sharing any needles, syringes, razors, tooth brushes and use condom when having sex.
The main aim of treatment is to prevent severe liver damage
leading to cirrhosis. Individuals with acute infection may require rest and avoid alcohol consumption. Individuals with chronic illness should be evaluated by a Gastroenterologist for treatment with anti viral medications such as Alpha-interferon
. Liver transplant
is done for patients who do not respond to medical treatment.
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.