Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. The liver is one of the critical organs in the body that helps in processing nutrients and filters blood. Substances such as certain medical conditions, toxins, heavy use of alcohol, and some medications can cause hepatitis. Liver disease is caused by a virus and the three common viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, B and C. These three have similar symptoms but dissimilar means of spread and treatment. This paper discusses Hepatitis C, how it is transmitted, signs and symptoms, and how it can be prevented and treated.
Hepatitis is spread when one comes into contact blood from an infected person. This happens through such things as sex from an infected person, through birth, sharing of drug injectable equipment, sharing of personal items, blood transfusion, and organ transplant, and through unregulated body piercings and tattoos (Schueller et al., 2018). When left untreated the disease can cause such health issues as liver disease, liver cancer, liver failure, or death in extreme cases.
Signs and Symptoms/ Diagnostic
People with Hepatitis C do not show any symptoms and may fail to know they are infected. When the symptoms occur, they include lack of appetite, yellow eyes or skin, stomach pain, throwing up, dark urine, fever, light-colored stool, tiredness, and joint pain (Ryerson et al., 2020). One can only know if they are infected through a blood test called hepatitis C antibody test, which shows whether the infection is recent or past. If the antibody is positive, another test is usually done to know if one is still infected or the infection cleared on its own in the past.
Prevention and Treatment
Hepatitis C can be prevented by not sharing or reusing needles or syringes used to inject drugs or any other substance, avoiding sharing personal items that might have been infected, avoiding getting tattoos and piercings from an unlicensed facility, and having protected sex or getting tested to ensure no infection occurs. Treatment of the disease is that those infected use direct-acting antiviral regime and it is treatable within 8 to 12 weeks of infection. The early the treatment the less the risk of spreading.
Compare and Contrast
The infection affects one to two percent of adults and it is not common among children, those that are infected are born with it. Most children infected with hepatitis C can carry on with their daily activities since the disease cannot be spread by casual contact. The infection disappears by itself before their second birthday and if it goes beyond that it becomes chronic. Both children and adults get tested the same way through a blood test but in the case of children, they must have attained the age of two years to be tested. When it comes to treatment, children have to wait until they are adults, unlike the adults who receive it immediately after being diagnosed.
In summary, hepatitis C is among the three types of hepatitis and is caused by such things as having sex with an infected person, sharing personal items among others. It does not often show symptoms but if it does they include yellow skin and eyes, and lack of appetite among others. It can be prevented by not sharing personal items, avoiding sharing and reusing syringes, and going to licensed facilities for tattoos and piercings. The infection can be treated between 8 to 12 weeks through an antiviral regime. Testing of the infection is the same in both adults and children but with children, they must be two years or more. Children wait until they are adults to get treatment while adults get it instantly.
Ryerson, A. B., Schillie, S., Barker, L. K., Kupronis, B. A., & Wester, C. (2020). Vital Signs: newly reported acute and chronic hepatitis C cases―United States, 2009–2018. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(14), 399.
Schueller, F., Roy, S., Vucur, M., Trautwein, C., Luedde, T., & Roderburg, C. (2018). The role of miRNAs in the pathophysiology of liver diseases and toxicity. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(1), 261.