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There is NO Vaccine for Hepatitis C but there is Treatment1

Hepatitis C can lead to Liver Damage & Liver Cancer2

Treatment can eliminate the Hepatitis C Virus3

Importance of Liver4

The liver is your largest internal organ and is key to good health. The liver performs more than 500 functions, including:

  • Production of bile, which facilitates fat breakdown during digestion.
  • Production of cholesterol and special proteins, which helps carry fats through the body.
  • Production of certain proteins for blood plasma.
  • Conversion of excess glucose into glycogen (energy storage).
  • Regulation of blood levels of glucose and amino acids.
  • Detoxification of blood from various drugs and harmful substances.
  • Processing hemoglobin and storage of iron.
  • Facilitation of blood clotting by producing several coagulation factors.
  • Helping fight infections by producing certain immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream.

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is most often caused by a virus.2

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a virus, called HCV for short. HCV can infect liver and result in hepatitis. Acute Hepatitis C refers to the first 6 months after someone is infected.2 Approximately 25% of people with acute HCV fully recover during this time.5 Acute infection can range in severity from a very mild illness with few or no symptoms to a serious condition requiring hospitalization.2
About 75% of people with acute HCV develop long term or chronic HCV.5 Unless successfully treated with medication, chronic HCV can lead to cirrhosis (scaring) of the liver, liver cancer, and liver failure.

How common is HCV infection in India?

Approximately 1 in 100 persons in India might be infected by HCV. It is estimated that 2,88,000 new HCV infections occurred in India in 2014. In India HCV related deaths are estimated to be as high as 96,000 every year.6-8

What HCV does to your Liver?

Course of illness with HCV

Healthy liver

A healthy liver is capable to grow back, or regenerate whenever it is damaged. It functions to fitter your blood, process nutrients and fight infections.2,9

Fibrosis

In liver disease, the inflamed liver starts to scar. This scar tissue grows and replaces the healthy liver tissue. This process is called fibrosis. At this stage, your liver may not work as fine as in healthy state.9

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is the scaring of the liver where the hard scar tissue replaces soft healthy tissue. If cirrhosis is not treated at this stage, it cannot function properly and may lead to liver failure.9

Carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or Liver cancer is the most common type of primary liver cancer. Cancer that starts in the liver is called primary liver cancer. It is the growth and spread of unhealthy cells in the liver.10

Who is at risk of having Hepatitis C?

You can get hepatitis C when blood from an infected person enters your body. This can happen if you:

Share drug needles with an infected person.2,11-13

Received a blood transfusion before 2001, when blood was not routinely tested for hepatitis C or other infections.1,2,11-13

Are born to a mother who has hepatitis C (5% chances of getting transmitted from mother to child).1,2,11-13

Are tattooed or pierced with unsterilized tools that were used on an infected person.1,2,11-13

Are accidentally pricked with a needle that was used on an infected person.1,2,11-13

Use an infected persons razor or toothbrush.1,2,11

Have ever been on hemodialysis.2,12

Have ever worked or been housed in a prison.2,12

Rarely, sexual transmission of Hepatitis C is possible.1,2,11-13

General Dietary advice

Your diet should include a regular and balanced meal comprising of:14

  • Whole-grain bread and cereals.
  • Enough protein-rich foods such a meat, fish, nuts, eggs and dairy products.
  • Lots of vegetables and fruits.
  • Plenty of water (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)

Limit or avoid the use of:

  • Excess salt, sugar and fats in diet.
  • Alcohol consumption

How Hepatitis C doesn’t spread?

Shaking or holding hands with the infected person.1,15-16

Through breast milk, food or water.1,15

Coughing and sneezing.1-16

Shared use of swimming pools and saunas.1-16

Hugging, kissing and cuddling.1-16

Sharing the same utensils and cutlery, drinking from the same glass.1-16

Sharing toilets and bathrooms.1-16

Sharing clothes.1-16

How would I know if I have HCV?

The only way to know if you have HCV is to get tested. Doctors diagnose HCV using two types of tests.2,11

  • a. Test that checks the blood for antibodies - proteins made by the immune system in response to the virus.
  • b. Test that checks for a substance called RNA made by the virus itself.2-11

Most people who have a negative antibody test do not have HCV infection and do not need additional testing.

Disclaimer:

The content published herein is purely for the purposes of information and enhancement of knowledge regarding Hepatitis. Any reference and/ or link to any third-party does not constitute an endorsement or warranty by Mylan. While every effort had been made to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate and up-to-date, Mylan does not make any representation or assume any responsibility for the accuracy of any information disseminated through the content detailed herein and shall not be held liable for any error, omission and consequences – legal or otherwise, arising out of the use of any information provided herein and expressly disclaims any liabilities arising therefrom.

Please consult your doctor to know more on Hepatitis. Your doctor is the best person to guide you. The information provided herein does not substitute medical advice provided by your doctor.

References:

  1. 1. NHS Hepatitis C Symptoms. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hepatitis-C/Pages/Symptoms aspx. Accessed on 22nd February 2015.
  2. 2. CDC, Hepatitis C General information. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/PDFs/HepCZGeneralFactSheet.pdf. Accessed on 22nd March 2015.
  3. 3. Treatment of Hepatitis C Up to date. Available at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/hepatitis-c-beyond-thebasics#H17555986. Accessed on 17th Dec 2018.
  4. 4. Health library. Liver Anatomy and Functions. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Available at https://www.hopkingmedicine.org/healthbrary/conditions/liverbillary_and_pancreatic_disorders/liver_anatomy_and_functions_85,P00676. Accessed on 26th Dec. 2018.
  5. 5. Behzad Hajarizadeh, Jason Grebely. Gregory J. Dore. Epideminology and natural history of HCV infection. Nat Rev Gastroentrola Hepatol 2013;10(9):553-62.
  6. 6. Puri P. Anand AC, Saraswat VA, Acharya SK, Dhiman RK, Aggrawal R. et. at. Consensus Statement of HCV Task Force of the Indian National Association for Study of the Liver (NASL). Part I: Status Report of HCV infection in India. J Clin Exp. Hepatol 2014;4(2):106-116.
  7. 7. Dhiman RK. Future of therapy for Hepatitis C in India. A matter of Accessibility and Affordibility ? J Clin Exp Hepatol 2014:4(2) 85-6.
  8. 8. Amirthalingam R and Pavalakodi VN. Prevalence of HIV 1, HCV and HBV infections among inhabitants in Chennai City at Hi-tech Center, Tamil-Nadu-India Medical Science 2013;3(8)24-28.
  9. 9. The progression of Liver Disease. American Liver Foundation. Available at https://liverfoundation.org./forpatients/about the-river/the-progression-of-river-disease/#1503432164252-f19f7e9c-0374. Accessed on 20th Dec 2018.
  10. 10. Liver Cancer American Liver Foundation. Available at https://liverfoundation.org/for/patients/about-the-river/disease-of the liver/liver-cancer/ Accessed on 20th Dec 2018.
  11. 11. Chopra S. Patient education: Hepatitis C (Beyond the Basics) Up To Date. Available from http://www.uptodate.com/contents/hepatitis-c-beyond-the basics. Accessed on 22nd March 2015.
  12. 12. NIH. What I need to know about Hepatitis C. Available from http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/information/health - topics/liver-disease/hepatitis-c-Pages/ez.aspx. Accessed on 22nd March 2014.
  13. 13. CDC Hepatitis C Information for the Public. Available from : http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/c/cfaq.htm.
  14. 14. Viral Hepatitis, Diet and Nutrition: Entire Lesson. United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Available at https://www.hepatitis.va.gov/patient/daily/diet/single-page.asp. Accessed on 26th Dec 2018.
  15. 15. Hepatitis C. Key Facts World Health Organization, Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/factsheets/detail/hepatitis-c. Accessed on 11th Dec 2018.
  16. 16. How hepatitis C is not transmitted. Hepatitis C: Transmission and prevention. infohep. Available at http://www.infohep.org/How-hepatitis-C-is-not-transmitted/page/2620968. Accessed on 11th Dec. 2018.

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