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Hepatitis C and its symptoms and treatment

Hepatitis C and its symptoms and treatment
in Gastroenterology and GI Surgery

Apr 19, 2022

Hepatitis C virus causes infection in the liver. Around 3.8 million individuals in India have this disease. However, it leads to fewer symptoms which is why many of them do not know about it.

There exist many types of Hepatitis C virus. Type 1 is the most common in India. The virus is spread by contact with contaminated blood; for example, from sharing needles or from unsterile tattoo equipment. Most people have no symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may have fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and yellowing of the eyes and skin.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Several individuals with hepatitis C do not have any symptoms, however, we could notice the below:-

  • Jaundice
  • Pain in stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

How do people get it?

This virus spreads across through blood or the body fluids of infected people. We can catch it from:-

  • Sharing of needles& drugs
  • Having sex, if you have STD, an HIV infection, many partners or have had rough sex
  • Being stuck by some infected needles
  • Birth i.e. mothers could pass it to babies

Who is at risk of contracting Hepatitis C disease? When should you opt for the Hepatitis Test?

We should get tested if we:-

  • Received blood from some donor with this disease
  • Were ever injected with drugs
  • Had blood transfusion or even an organ transplant prior to July 1992
  • Received blood product used for treating clotting issues prior to 1987
  • Were born between 1945 & 1965
  • Have been on a long duration kidney dialysis
  • Were born to a mother having hepatitis C
  • Have HIV
  • Have any symptom of liver disease

Diagnosis of Hepatitis C

A blood test is suggested to detect hepatitis C virus

Treatment of Hepatitis C

Treatment of Hepatitis C has transformed a lot in the recent times. In the year 2017, FDA has approved an everyday combination pill of glecaprevir & pibrentasvir known as Maigret. The medication provides a shorter cycle of treatment i.e. 8 weeks for an adult patient having all kinds of HCV who do not have cirrhosis & who haven’t been treated previously. The treatment length is longer for the ones who are in a different disease phase. The prescribed dosage for the medicine is three tablets every day.

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