Hepatitis C causes inflammation (swelling) of the liver. You can get Hepatitis C by coming into contact with infected blood.
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month. Knowing the facts about this infection can help you stay safe and reduce your risk.
What Is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV spreads through infected blood. You can get HCV by using a needle used by a person with HCV or from your mother if she had it during pregnancy. You can also get it if you received an organ transplant before 1992.
Symptoms of hepatitis C include:
- Yellow eyes or skin.
- Loss of appetite.
- Stomach pain.
- Dark urine.
- Pale stool.
- Joint pain.
Hepatitis C Statistics
Here are a few important facts about hepatitis C. This infection affects millions of Americans.
- Chronic hepatitis C is a major cause of liver cancer in the U.S.
- About 75% of people in the U.S. with chronic hepatitis C do not know they have it.
- Chronic hepatitis C affects 2.7 to 3.9 million people in the U.S.
- There were 4,800 new cases of acute hepatitis C in the U.S. in 2020.
- There were about 107,300 new cases of chronic hepatitis C in the U.S. in 2020.
- Acute hepatitis C is twice as common today as it was in 2013. Since then, the number of cases has increased by 124%.
What Is the Purpose Of Hepatitis C Awareness Month?
The goal of Hepatitis C Awareness Month is to encourage you to get a hepatitis C test.
If you test positive, you can receive treatment for it. You can also take the proper steps to avoid spreading it to others.
The CDC recommends getting tested for hepatitis C if you:
- Are at least 18 years old.
- Are pregnant.
- Are using injection drugs.
- Have ever used injection drugs.
- Have HIV.
- Were born to a mother who had hepatitis C.
- Have been exposed to blood from someone who has hepatitis C.
- Have liver disease.
- Have had an abnormal liver test.
- Received donated blood before 1992.
- Received donated organs before 1992.
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. However, you can avoid it by staying away from infected blood.
Good ways to prevent hepatitis C:
- Do not use injection drugs.
- Make sure a clean needle is used if you get a tattoo.
- Practice safer sex.
When To Get Help
See your doctor right away if you think you have hepatitis C.
Your doctor can test you for this infection and discuss your treatment options. Without treatment, hepatitis C can increase your risk for liver failure.
Hepatitis C can be treated and CURED with antiviral medications. These medications can help clear HCV from your body.
Serious cases of hepatitis C may require a liver transplant. This is when a doctor replaces your liver with a healthy one.
Avoid alcohol and drugs that cause liver damage. This may prevent hepatitis C from getting worse. Your doctor can talk to you about other ways to manage hepatitis C.
Jai Medical Systems is devoted to keeping you healthy for years to come. Contact us today at 1-888-524-1999 to learn more about our benefits and services, including our Hepatitis C Treatment Program.