According to the World Health Organization as of July 2015, there are 150 million people in the world who are infected with hepatitis C. Every year about 4 million more people are infected with hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a severe viral liver disease, but it is completely curable, especially if you start therapy on time. Otherwise, the consequences can be tragic – Hepatitis C often leads to irreversible changes.
Hepatitis C is one of the most insidious viruses. Doctors even nicknamed it the “affectionate killer” because, unlike many other diseases, it can for the time being not show itself or “disguise” itself as other diseases. Many people do not even suspect that they are infected until it is discovered quite randomly, for example during a general examination. But this ignorance is dangerous – hepatitis C, even asymptomatic, can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer, as well as other serious diseases.
For a long time there was a widespread belief that Hepatitis C is incurable. In the 21st century, this statement is considered a myth. Despite the seriousness of the problem, the use of new medical technologies can defeat the disease. Modern antiviral drugs in combination with methods of extracorporeal hemocorrection (blood gravitational surgery) increase the efficiency of treatment and the probability of recovery up to 90%.
It is curious. According to WHO forecasts in the next 20 years chronic hepatitis C will be the main problem for health systems in many countries.
Hepatitis C may be acute and chronic. Acute form is rarely diagnosed and most often quite accidentally, but if the disease was identified at this stage, the chances of recovery are very high. The problem is that acute hepatitis often goes without any noticeable signs. Sometimes, its symptoms are similar to a common flu or cold, sometimes they resemble food poisoning. Often, patients do not pay much attention to such sicknesses, and in 10-15% of cases the immune system copes with such symptoms on its own. Without treatment, acute hepatitis quickly becomes chronic – this happens with about 70% of all infected people. Chronic Hepatitis C also often goes unnoticed, but over time it provokes serious pathological changes: 20% of patients develop cirrhosis of the liver, 5% – liver cancer, there may also be kidney dysfunction and the development of autoimmune diseases.
Be careful, hepatitis C! How is the disease transmitted?
Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood, so many believe that the disease threatens only addicts who use the same syringe for injection. In fact, about half of all cases of infection happens this way. However, there are other ways of transmission. A tiny little drop of blood is enough for infection – only 0.0001 ml. For example, it is possible to get infected because of poorly sterilized devices for tattooing, piercing or manicure. Many years ago, hepatitis C often got into the body with blood transfusions, but since 1992 all donor blood is tested for this virus. The chance to get infected through sexual intercourse is insignificant – according to the most pessimistic estimates, it is only 5%, although people who are illegible in connections, risk more. Pregnant women with hepatitis C often successfully carry and give birth to healthy children, but the risk of vertical infection at birth is still there – it is also about 5%.
This is important. Hepatitis C can not be infected by household or airborne droplets, through saliva and breast milk, using the same dishes and clothes, through kissing and touching.
Infected should only use separate manicure and toothbrush – however, such other people’s personal hygiene items should not be used in any case.