Hepatitis C Essay, Research Paper
Hepatitis C, a relatively new disease that is not commonly know about as much as disease like Hepatitis A or B. However, this disease is very serious. Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver. This report will set some facts straight about Hepatitis C and try to give a better understanding of the potentially deadly disease.
As stated before, Hep C is an infection of the liver. More precisely it is a single strand RNA virus that replicates in the liver, causing the liver to become severely infected. The natural history of Hep C is a mystery to many scientists. However, fact is that 50-70% of patients infected with the disease will go onto become chronic patients. Once chronic Hep C is achieved, spontaneous removal of the disease is very rare.
Symptoms become more apparent. The symptoms include: Tiredness, loss of appetite, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, urine that is darker in color than normal, and skin and eyes that appear yellow. It can take anywhere from two weeks to six months for symptoms to show up in a patient once they have been exposed, and the disease is transmitted. However, in most cases’ effects will show up one and a half to two months afterwards.
You might be wondering by now, how you get this awful disease. It spreads mostly by blood to blood contact, though some scientists argue that there is a slight possibility of sexual transmission is some cases. The virus can not be spread by doing such things as shaking hands, hugging, sharing food or drink, or using the same facilities as an infected person as long as no blood was shed by the infected party. It is very important to take precautionary measures if you are at a higher risk for getting Hepatitis C. People that are at higher risk are people who: received blood transfusions before 1992, and drug users who share needles. Other people that are at a medium risk level
include: Anyone who has had unprotected sex with a woman or man who has Hep C,
babies that are born to parents that are Hep C positive, and health care workers who have any kind of contact with patients’ blood.
The next question would be, is there any treatment for Hepatitis C. While there is no cure for Hep C, you can do some things to help yourself. These include increased amounts of rest and fluids. Some people may need hospitalization or need special medications. Also, you should consult a doctor to learn more about how alcohol and some medications could worsen the condition of your liver.
The best thing you can do is take a few precautionary steps to prevent the disease. First off, practice good hygiene. It is a good idea anyway, but take extra caution if you know you have exposure to somebody with the disease. Good hygiene includes particularly not sharing needles with other people and the use of latex condoms during sexual activity. As you can see Hepatitis C is a dangerous disease and very unpleasant to have. The good news is that it is one of the easier disease to prevent. Be careful to take precautionary steps and you two can avoid Hepatitis C. Even though this disease is not widely know about, it doesn’t mean that it is less harmful.