Hepatitis C is caused by the Hepatitis C virus, which leads to the inflammation of the liver and in certain cases, to serious damage of the liver. HCV is easily transmitted through contaminated blood.
In the U.S., more than three million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C. Infection is most commonly detected among people who are 40 to 60 years of age. There are 8,000 to 10,000 deaths each year in the U.S. related to hepatitis C infection.
Hepatitis can be treated easily by taking injections weekly and consuming oral medications.
In 1987, Michael Houghton, Qui-Lim Choo, and George Kuo at Chiron Corporation, collaborated with Daniel W. Bradley at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, used a novel molecular cloning approach to identify the unknown organism and develop a diagnostic test. In 1988, Alter confirmed the virus by verifying its presence in a panel of NANBH specimens. In April 1989, the discovery of HCV was published in two articles in the journal Science.
- Sharing needles, syringes or drug injecting equipment.
- Unprotected sex, especially if the person has an STD or HIV infection.
- Semen, vaginal fluids, and blood transmission.
- It can be transmitted from a mother to a newborn during delivery.
- Sharing needles, syringes and drug-injection equipment.
- Unsafe tattoo techniques
- By sharing personal hygiene items such as razors or toothbrushes
- Jaundice or yellowing of the eyes.
- Hepatic Encephalopathy, a state of confusion, laziness and having an improper speech.
- Spider angiomas.
- Having spider like blood vessels under the skin.
- Loss of weight.
- Loss of appetite.
- Passing dark-coloured urine.
- Getting bruised or bleeding easily.
- A blood test is required for detecting the presence of Hepatitis C virus in the blood and to identify the genotype of the virus.
- The hepatitis C virus’s RNA can be identified by a type of test called Polymerase Chain reaction (PCR) that detects circulating virus in the blood as early as 2-3 weeks after infection, so it can be used to detect suspected acute infection with hepatitis C early infection. It also is used to determine whether active hepatitis is present in someone who has antibodies to hepatitis C, and to follow the viral load during treatment.
- Liver biopsy is recommended to examine the liver tissue for the infection.
- Antiviral medications like elbasvir/grazoprevir, ledispasvir/sofosbuvir, or sofosbuvir/velpatasvir .
- Vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B are given.
- Liver transplant is needed in cases of serious liver damage or cirrhosis. This involves transferring a healthy liver from the body of the donor into the body of the recipient.
Life after surgery:
Liver transplants are usually a great success. According to the most recent year computed UNOS/OPTN (2004) national average one-year graft survival at 83%, and patient survival at 87% for patients receiving a deceased donor liver and 92% for those transplanted with an organ from a living donor.
After a liver transplant, a patient is recommended to stay in the I.C.U for a few days and then later shifted to the transplant recovery area for 5-10 days. The patient can then go back to normal day-to-day activities. Regular follow-ups are advised and patients have to take the medicines for lifetime.
Risks involved in a liver transplant include:
- Organ rejection.
- Failure of the donated liver.
- Clots of blood.
- Bile duct leaks.
- Shrinking of bile ducts.
- Long-term complications may also include recurrence of liver disease in the transplanted liver.
Prior to 2012 sustained response occurs in about 40–50% in people with HCV genotype 1 given 48 weeks of treatment. A sustained response is seen in 70–80% of people with HCV genotypes 2 and 3 with 24 weeks of treatment. A sustained response occurs about 65% in those with genotype 4 after 48 weeks of treatment. The evidence for treatment in genotype 6 disease is sparse and what evidence there is supports 48 weeks of treatment at the same doses used for genotype 1 disease.
Gilead Sciences priced the treatment at $1000 per pill, making the total cost of the treatment $84,000. Gilead then combined sofosbuvir with a new drug, ledipasvir, to create the even more effective combination treatment, Harvoni. Harvoni’s total treatment cost is $94,500 for a 12-week regimen.
New Life Clinics offers a low-risk way to treat Hepatitis C. Our team of experienced and skilled doctors make life at hospital a painless one and guarantee a speedy recovery.