How hepatitis C is transmitted
As per the public health department, hepatitis C is not considered transmissible through food. You cannot get hepatitis C from casual contact with someone (e.g., sharing an apartment or car). Studies show that patients with hepatitis C may not be required to be barred from any job including working in the kitchen. However, you should take extra precautions and be extra hygienic, especially in public places and when working in the kitchen. It is usually transmitted by
- Sharing equipment for injecting drugs
- Sharing equipment used to snort or smoke drugs (e.g., bills, straws, pipes)
- Sharing needles or inkwells that are used to make tattoos
- Receiving a transfusion of blood, blood products or organs before 1992 in the US. In some countries, the hepatitis C virus can still be spread through unscreened blood or blood products.
- Having unprotected vaginal or anal sex with someone who has the hepatitis C virus
- Passing the virus from an infected pregnant woman to her baby (less common)
- Sharing personal care items that may come in contact with another person's blood, such as razors or toothbrushes (less common)
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is a chronic illness (which means it does not go away on its own). If you have hepatitis C, you need to be monitored carefully by a doctor because it can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. Cirrhosis from hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver failure and someone who has it may need a liver transplant. Most people who are infected with hepatitis C don’t experience any symptoms for years. The symptoms may gradually develop and may include
- Joint and muscle aches
- Lack of appetite
- Abdominal tenderness on the area over your liver (the right upper part of your abdomen)
As the disease progresses, hepatitis C can cause liver damage. In many cases, there are no symptoms until liver problems develop. If symptoms of liver problems do appear, they may include
Treatment of hepatitis C
- Although your body’s immune system makes antibodies to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), these antibodies do not protect you. The virus changes so quickly that it evades your body’s defenses. This means that you cannot have lifelong protection from hepatitis C. Also, there currently is no hepatitis C vaccine. If you are treated for HCV and get rid of the virus, you can still be infected again.
- New therapies called direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are pills that act on the virus itself to eradicate it from the body. These are different from the older medicines, such as interferon injections, which work by stimulating an immune response. These new treatments are highly effective and can achieve cure rates of over 90 percent. The new treatment combinations require shorter treatment durations (between eight to 24 weeks), have reduced side effects and appear to be effective at all stages of the disease.
- However, this treatment may be expensive.
- Although liver failure and cancer can be the results of this disease, the physician can identify liver changes long before this happens. Treating hepatitis C drastically reduces these outcomes.
- No alternative therapies, such as herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines and minerals, have been proven safe and effective for the treatment of hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C is spread by blood-to-blood contact. If you think you are infected with the hepatitis C virus because of your symptoms and/or previous blood-to-blood contact, you can have yourself tested to verify whether this is the case. Doing this is extremely important to establish the severity and extent of liver inflammation. Without treatment, up to 85 percent of people will have progression. If your doctor diagnoses acute hepatitis C, you may or may not need treatment at that given point. Current guidelines recommend testing again for the virus in six months. If your body has cleared the virus, no further treatment is required. When the virus is still present, treatment at this stage can reduce the risk of developing a severe infection.
World Health Organization
Top Can You Work in a Kitchen With Hep C Related Articles
Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and needle sticks, especially with intravenous drug abuse. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and fever. Chronic hepatitis C may be cured in most individuals with drugs that target specific genomes of hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C Cure (Symptoms, Transmission, Treatments, and Cost)
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. There are a variety of toxins, diseases, illicit drugs, medications, bacterial and viral infections, and heavy alcohol use can case inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) is one type of hepatitis. According to the CDC, in 2014 there were an estimated 30,500 cases of acute hepatitis C infections in the US. An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the US have chronic hepatitis C. The virus is spread from person-to-person via blood-to-blood contact.
Symptoms of HCV infection include joint pain, jaundice, dark urine, nausea, fatigue, fever, loss of appetites, clay colored stool. Hepatitis C can be cured with medications in most people. There is no vaccine against the hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis C SlideshowWhat is hepatitis C (Hep C, HVC)? Learn about hepatitis C symptoms, how you get Hep C, contagiousness, and treatment for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C QuizHow many Americans have hepatitis C? Take this quiz to learn the facts about this chronic disease.
Hepatitis C, Hep B, Hep A: Symptoms, Causes, TreatmentHepatitis C, B, and A are viruses that cause liver inflammation. Hepatitis B vaccines and hepatitis A vaccines are available. Hepatitis symptoms may not appear for weeks to months after infection. Hepatitis A transmission occurs most often via contaminated food. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C transmission require contact with infected bodily fluids or blood.
How Long Can a Person Live after Being Diagnosed with Hep C?Hepatitis C is a virus that affects the liver. Hepatitis C used to be difficult to treat and often resulted in the loss of life, but there are greater chances of curing or managing this condition thanks to modern medicine and research.
How Long Can a Person Live After Being Diagnosed With Hepatitis C (Hep C)?Hepatitis C is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. The impact of hepatitis C on lifespan is dependent on how the disease progresses and the effectiveness of timely treatment.
Is Hepatitis C Contagious?Hepatitis C or hep C causes acute and chronic liver disease. Hep C is a form of liver disease with symptoms like fatigue, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, anorexia, and abdominal discomfort. Hepatitis C is a contagious viral infection caused by people sharing drug needles, surgical instruments that have not been properly sanitized, and organ transplantation.
Is Hepatitis Contagious?Hepatitis means "inflammation of the liver," and there are several different types of such as A, B, C, D, and E. Some types of hepatitis are contagious and some types are not. Hepatitis symptoms vary upon the type of disease; however, the following symptoms may develop in someone with hepatitis: fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and discomfort, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), and loss of appetite. Treatment for hepatitis depends upon the cause. Some types of hepatitis have a vaccine to prevent spread of disease such as hepatitis A and B.
What Type of Drug Is Ombitasvir?Ombitasvir is a direct-acting antiviral drug that is used to treat hepatitis C. The medication acts as a hepatitis C virus inhibitor and is a dipeptide derivative. It is mostly used as a combination drug containing dasabuvir sodium dihydrate, paritaprevir, and ritonavir under the trade name Viekira Pak, which is FDA-approved. Ombitasvir works by inhibiting the NS5A protein, which helps in the replication of the hepatitis C virus.