The Hepatitis C Virus

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Some of you may have heard about the Hepatitis B Virus as it is usually one of the compulsory medical checks when you apply for a job. However, aside from the Hepatitis B Virus, there is also the Hepatitis C Virus that is equally important.

There are 6 different types of Hepatitis C Virus, with the type having nothing to do with the severity, but rather its treatment, which involves a different formula, dose and usage period for medication. Type 2 and type 3 are the types that are easier to cure. The Hepatitis C Virus is a blood borne virus. It is most commonly transmittedthrough sexual intercourse, reusing syringes or inadequate sterilisation of equipment at piercing or tattoo shops. The Hepatitis C Virus can also be transmitted from a mother to her child.

The Hepatitis C Virus cannot be transmitted by sharing personal items, sharing foods, coughing, sneezing, kissing, hugging or other physical contact. Once entering the body, Virus will embed itself in the liver. At the beginning stage this may cause acute hepatitis. Unfortunately, symptoms will not show in most cases or it will be too mild for the infected person to notice. Other symptoms involve influenza, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, dark urine and jaundice. 15 percent of those infected will be able to recover themselves, especially children under the age of 18. However, 85 percent of those infected will gradually develop chronic infections.

It is important to note that the disease will become more threatening over time. After 10-30 years, it may develop into cirrhosis of the liver which could further into liver cancer as a life-threatening condition. The Hepatitis C Virus can be diagnosed via a blood examination and screening for anti-HCV antibodies. If the result is positive for anti-HCV antibodies, then a nucleic acid test for HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA) is needed to confirm the infection and its severity. It is important to know the exact type of the infected Hepatitis C Virus and to plan proper treatment.

This includes, but is not limited to, assessing the level of liver function, the severity of inflammation and fibrosis in the liver to determine the severity of the disease. This can be done by measuring the number of liver enzymes such as AST, ALT, METAVIR, score etc. The Hepatitis C Virus could be considered as a silent threat with most people unaware or unconcerned. Many patients come to see the doctor when it is already at the end-stage when many suffering from cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. There is still no vaccine to prevent this virus, which is different from The Hepatitis B Virus which has vaccines available. Nonetheless, there are treatments for the virus. Do not wait for the chronic infection to spread until it causes severe diseases.

Please complete a yearly health check-up as a routine for your future. The faster you know, the earlier you can get the treatment. Provided by Health Lab Clinic

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