Hepatitis C

Hepatitis c is a virus which causes infection to the liver cells.

Although in many cases it may go without symptoms, its consequences range from transient liver damage, severe liver injury, chronic-long standing liver injury, cirrhosis of liver and liver cancer.

When Hepatitis C is transmitted from infected mother to their offsprings it is known as vertical transmission.

Apart from that, it can be transmitted by infected syringes, unprotected sexual relations and infected blood products.

Most of the patients detected positive on pre-employment screening don’t harbour any symptoms.

You should meet your gastroenterologist doctor for further guidance. A doctor will ask for a few further blood tests and ultrasound of liver to decide the further management.

Yes. Now a days new antiviral therapy is available for Hepatitis C. These drugs are very effective and can eradicate the virus from the patient’s body.

The usual course of duration for treatment last for 3 to 6 months depending on the results of laboratory investigations and clinical status of a patient.

No. Treatment is dependent on the clinical status of a patient, condition of the liver (cirrhosis/ no cirrhosis), liver function test and viral load.

On the basis of this information obtained from this battery of investigation, the doctor will decide whether you need treatment or not.

First of all, all of your spouse and other first degree relatives should be screened for Hepatitis C. If the test is positive you should consult your gastroenterologist for further guidance.

You should avoid unprotected sex with your spouse till you get a complete cure from Hepatitis C. Complete cure is confirmed by a viral load test, typically done after 12 weeks of completion of antiviral therapy.

There is no evidence that any of the following activities lead to the transmission of hepatitis C:

  • Kissing or hugging.
  • Sneezing or coughing.
  • Casual contact or other contacts that does not involve blood.
  • Sharing food, water, eating utensils, or drinking glasses.