What is hep c caused by: Hepatitis C – What Is Hep C? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment
Hepatitis C | Boston Children’s Hospital
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). For a small number of people, hepatitis C, sometimes referred to as hep C, is a mild illness that clears on its own in a matter of weeks. In most cases, hepatitis C becomes a chronic condition that may progress to chronic liver failure or liver cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 3.5 million people in the U.S. are living with hepatitis C and there are more than 40,000 new cases of hepatitis C in the country each year. Because most children and adults with hepatitis C do not have specific symptoms, many do not realize they are infected.
HCV spreads through the blood. The most common way children become infected with hepatitis C is during the birth process if they are born to a mother with the virus. Researchers do not believe a mother can pass the virus to a fetus in the womb. Older children can become infected through injection drug use or other unsafe needle practices.
There are two phases of hepatitis C: acute and chronic.
- Acute hepatitis C is a mild illness that children and adults experience within the first six months of infection. As many as a quarter of children infected with HCV clear the virus on their own without any treatment during the acute phase.
- Chronic hepatitis C is a serious, long-term infection that develops when the virus remains in the blood. Over the course of decades, chronic hepatitis C can damage the liver to the point that a liver transplant becomes necessary.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?
The majority of children with acute or chronic hepatitis C have no symptoms. As they age, the virus can cause ever-greater damage to the liver. In later stages, symptoms of hepatitis C may include:
- itchy skin
- dark urine
- muscle soreness
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
What causes hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus is passed from person to person through contact with blood infected with HCV. Mothers infected with HCV can pass the virus on to their children at birth. While this is the most common way for a child in the United States to become infected with HCV, it is unusual. A mother infected with HCV has about a 5 percent (1 in 20) chance of passing the virus to her child. About a quarter of infants infected with the virus clear it without treatment by the time they reach age 3.
Older children, especially teenagers, can contract HCV through injection drug use. The virus can spread through other forms of contact with potentially infected blood (e.g., needle stick in a health care setting). Tattoos and body piercings appear to be safe as long as they are done with sterile instruments.
What is the liver, and what does it do?
The liver is the second largest organ in the body and it helps the body in many ways:
- the liver produces proteins that allow blood to clot normally, transport oxygen and support the immune system
- it produces bile, a substance that helps digest food
- it stores extra nutrients
- it helps clean the bloodstream of harmful substances
- it helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels
How does hepatitis C affect the liver?
When infected, the liver becomes inflamed, which may cause the healthy, soft tissues in the liver to harden and scar. If not stopped, inflammation and scarring can lead to serious liver diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver or liver tumors. If the damage is severe enough, the liver may not perform all of its functions normally.
How we care for hepatitis C
The Center for Childhood Liver Disease at Boston Children’s Hospital is one of the leading centers in the world for the care of children with hepatitis C. The center’s director, Maureen Jonas, MD is a national leader in the care, diagnosis and treatment for children with viral hepatitis. Dr. Jonas, along with her team, wrote the clinical guidelines that shape the way pediatric GI specialists and pediatricians around the country treat hepatitis C.
In addition to the standard treatments, our team of certified pediatric hepatologists is also at the forefront of treatment research, treating adolescents with newly approved treatments for adults and conducting clinical trials to help make them available to children as young as 3 years of age.
Our areas of innovation for hepatitis
Liver biopsies provide a great deal of information about the extent of damage in a child’s liver, but the procedure is invasive and can be both painful and risky. Researchers at Boston Children’s use an ultrasound-based imaging technology called FibroScan that may be able to help doctors assess liver scarring without a liver biopsy.
What Is Hepatitis C? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Favorite Orgs for Essential Hep C Info
Hepatitis C Association
This organization is dedicated to educating the public about all aspects of the hepatitis C virus. The site presents the latest hep C news and events, as well as resources for those without insurance. The association is the managing partner for the Help4Hep toll-free support and resource line at 877-435-7443.
Hepatitis Foundation International
We like the foundation’s dedication to promoting healthy living habits for people with hep C, especially those that can benefit the liver. The group produced the DVD Live-R-Die to educate young adults about binge drinking, drug abuse, and other liver-damaging behaviors.
American Liver Foundation
The viral infection hep C can take its toll on the liver. This foundation supports education, advocacy, and research for the prevention of liver disease. It has a nationwide network of offices ready to help individuals with any related questions.
United Network for Organ Sharing
One of the most common reasons for liver transplantation in the United States is organ failure due to hep C. This network serves as a comprehensive resource for those exploring liver transplant options, organ donation, and medical advances. Profiles of people who have had transplants and connections to support groups are available.
Favorite Hep C Financial Resources
This nonprofit devotes its energies to help people afford healthcare and medication. It offers a free drug discount card that extends a discount of up to 80 percent at more than 65,000 pharmacies nationwide. Anyone (and their family and friends) can use the card regardless of income level or insurance status.
RxAssist guides people to free or low-cost medicine programs. Visitors to the website can type a drug’s name into the search tool to find patient assistance programs that can help with costs. The group also gives a wealth of information on various drug discount cards.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Plug the name of a drug into this free service and it searches for patient assistance programs that will help pay for the medication. It also has a great tool to help find free or low-cost clinics near you.
Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief
Those who qualify can get awards of up to $15,000 a year to pay for hep C treatment. Eligibility requirements include an income below 400 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. In addition, the foundation presents links to other financial resources and pharmaceutical assistance programs.
Favorite Hep C Alternative Medicine Resource
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Although hep C can be successfully treated with modern medicine, many people turn to dietary supplements with the goal of curing their illness. The most commonly used is silymarin (milk thistle). Although the NCCIH says that no supplement is effective for hep C, the center provides the latest scientific data on a range of products, including probiotics, zinc, licorice root, and colloidal silver.
Favorite Hep C Support Networks
This site gives a very detailed listing of live hep C support groups in cities across the country. Meetings are often for those undergoing treatment or people who have questions about treatment. A database that searches by ZIP code makes it simple to find a support group near you.
This online support network has about 34,000 members at latest count. People can anonymously post about all concerns related to the disease, including issues about stigma, depression, and care.
Favorite Hep C Online Magazine and Blogs
Hep Mag publishes current articles about people living with hep C, plus it offers a forum for people to ask questions and share stories and information with other readers. The online magazine also features a blog on funding, cures, liver disease, and related matters.
Feedspot, a feed compiling news from online sources, lists 20 top blogs and websites to explore concerning hepatitis C. Readers can connect with one another and find out about the latest drug research developments.
Favorite Hep C App
This web-based app for people infected with the hepatitis C virus offers health management, decision support, and regular educational webinars. Developed in part by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, the app also gives providers a way to track their hep C patients.
Favorite Sites for Hep C Products
Hep C can now be cured with an 8- to 12-week course of medication. The pharmaceutical companies that produce these drugs all present useful information and, in some cases, details on how to get the medication at a lower cost. Here are the latest hep C drugs approved by the FDA:
Additional reporting by Laura McArdle.
How hepatitis C damages the liver
Hepatitis C causes damage to the liver mainly in the form of inflammation, which then leads to scarring or fibrosis.
Hepatitis C results in the death of liver cells. It is uncertain whether the virus kills the cells or if it is the immune system’s response to invasion by the virus. At present it is thought that it is probably a combination of the two, but that the immune system’s response is what causes the most damage. The death of liver cells triggers the dispatching of inflammatory cells to the affected area. Inflammation leads to the enlargement of the liver (hepatomegaly) in over 60% of people infected with hepatitis C and can cause the fibroelastic sheath (Glisson’s capsule) surrounding the liver to stretch, which may be the cause of pain in the liver area.
Inflammation begins the processes that lead to fibrosis. Fibrosis is not a disease but is a condition caused by the body’s response to liver damage. Inflammation triggers a reaction by a group of cells in the liver called stellate (literally star-shaped) or fat cells. When the liver is functioning normally stellate cells store fat and vitamin A in the liver. They also help regulate the flow of blood through the liver. But when the liver is inflamed by the presence of hepatitis C, a reaction occurs amongst different liver cells. This leads stellate cells to dispense with vitamin A, altering their function.
Infected and inflamed liver cells release chemical signals called ‘cytokines’. These activate leukocytes (white blood cells) from outside the liver which travel to the area of infection. On arrival they team up with Kupffer cells (specialised white blood cells that neutralise and remove bacteria, viruses, parasites and tumour cells from the liver) and produce further chemical signals. These signals cause stellate cells to begin producing and laying down collagen fibres in the extra cellular matrix, which is the area between the cells.
Collagen is a fibrous protein which is fundamental to the formation of scar tissue. The body’s use of collagen in an area of injury is an attempt to limit the spread of infection to other cells. As an infection or injury resolves, the collagen matrix enclosing the injury is normally dissolved. The activated stellate cells then die off, allowing the tissue to return to normal.
In a chronic illness such as hepatitis C the collagen matrix grows too fast and cannot be properly dissolved. This results in a build up of scar tissue around cells. Liver cells lose vital access to the blood carrying nutrients and oxygen and so die. A vicious circle results in which inflammation and fibrogenic cells stimulate each other leading to increased fibrosis.
Free Radicals and Fibrosis
A further possible cause of fibrosis is due to damage by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances. They are the by-product of a cell’s normal reactions such as energy generation and the breakdown of fats. During these reactions oxygen is transformed into the free radical superoxide. Normally cells have mechanisms for protecting themselves from the dangers of free radicals. When too many are generated, or if they are not controlled properly, there is a danger that they will cause cell and tissue damage.
Free radicals are of concern for people with hepatitis C for a number of reasons:
- Chronic liver inflammation may lead to over-production of free radicals within the liver.
- There is evidence that free radicals play a role in liver fibrosis. Free radicals can chemically alter fat in the body. This is called lipid peroxidation. The free radicals attack the cell membrane and can injure and eventually kill cells. If this happens to liver cells, this will lead to fibrosis.
If the liver function is already impaired and this has led to an overload of iron, the free radicals may interact with the iron causing further damage.
The liver is famed for its ability to regenerate, so why doesn’t liver regeneration prevent liver damage in hepatitis?
Hepatitis C is usually characterised by a degeneration of the liver through slow but progressive scarring. The liver has two responses to harmful agents which are capable of damaging its cell structure. Either there is regeneration with complete restoration of the liver structure and function or there is sustained scarring of liver tissue leading to damage. When the liver is damaged by a single strong injury, regeneration is highly likely even if a large area is affected. But if the injury is repetitive as is the case with hepatitis C infection – the liver cannot effectively cope. It does not have the time and space to heal and regenerate.
Hepatitis C | UC San Diego Health
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood from an infected person. It is often caused by sharing needles or other items used to prepare and inject drugs.
For some people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for many it becomes a long-term, chronic infection that can lead to serious conditions such as
More about hepatitis C
For the most experienced and customized care, turn to our team of liver experts (hepatologists),
infectious disease experts, and
specialty pharmacists. Our collaborative efforts improve quality of life for many patients with difficult cases, including those co-infected with HIV.
UC San Diego Health also is a leader in the development of new, more effective treatments with cure rates of over 90 percent.
Learn About Hepatitis C Clinical Trials
Diagnosis for Hepatitis C
Once you’ve been infected with hepatitis C, the virus stays in your body for life. Diagnosing an existing hepatitis C infection requires several blood tests.
Blood tests used in hepatitis C diagnosis:
Hepatitis C antibody test – A blood test that shows whether you’ve
ever had hepatitis C. If this test comes back positive, your doctor will follow up with a viral load test.
- Viral load test – A test that measures ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood. Viral RNA signals there is virus in your blood.
- Genotype – If the viral load test is positive, you’ll be given a blood test to determine which hepatitis strain (genotype) you have. There are currently six known genotypes. Knowing the genotype is essential as it determines which treatment you’ll receive.
It’s important that you get tested for hepatitis C often if you’re at higher risk of contracting the disease.
See if you should get tested and learn more about
hepatitis C diagnosis.
Once HCV infection is confirmed, the next step is determining the extent of damage. Non-invasive tests such as a CT scan, MRI or ultrasound can provide detailed images of the liver. A liver biopsy may be necessary to determine the degree of liver damage.
Phases of Hepatitis C
The six month period of time after hepatitis C first enters your body is called the acute phase. Approximately 30 percent of people are able to clear the disease from their body naturally during this time.
During the acute phase, most people experience no symptoms at all, or they develop non-specific symptoms such as appetite loss or fatigue. Only about 20 percent of people who first get the virus develop jaundice.
Since symptoms are usually vague, most people do not know to seek medical help.
It’s important to note that if you are infected with hepatitis C and successfully clear the virus, you are not protected against reinfection.
The 70 percent of people whose bodies are unable to fight off the hepatitis C virus during the first six months of infection enter the chronic phase (long-term infection).
The chronic phase is diagnosed after the infection is identified on at least two different hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA tests. The chance of your body naturally clearing the virus during the chronic phase is highly unlikely.
Nearly 25 to 30 percent of people who reach the chronic phase of hepatitis C will get cirrhosis.
Treatment for Hepatitis C
New treatments can clear hepatitis C at every stage. Of course, the disease causes damage over time, so it’s best treat it as early as possible.
At UC San Diego Health, we treat hepatitis C with antiviral medications. The type of medications you receive is based on the strain (genotype) of hepatitis C you have. Treatment length depends on severity of condition and treatment response, and can range anywhere from 8 to 24 weeks.
Antiviral medications stop the enzymes produced by hepatitis C. This helps to:
- Prevent and slow the development of scarring in the liver.
- Reduce the chances of developing liver cancer and cirrhosis.
- Clear the virus from the bloodstream.
In the past, the only treatment for hepatitis C was a combination of interferon alfa (self-injected) and ribavirin (pill). This regimen was often poorly tolerated and had suboptimal cure rates.
Depending on your genotype, new interferon-free treatments are available with cure rates over 90 percent.
Antiviral drugs used to treat hepatitis C:
Hepatitis C Genotype
One of the factors that affects the type of treatment you receive for your hepatitis C is your genotype.
There are 6 different genotypes:
Genotype 1: This type of hepatitis C is found worldwide. It accounts for roughly 70% of all hepatitis C cases in U.S.
Genotypes 2, 3: This type of hepatitis C is found worldwide. It accounts for roughly 30% of all hepatitis C cases in U.S.
Genotype 4: This type of hepatitis C is most common in Africa and the Middle East.
Genotype 5: This type of hepatitis C is most common in South Africa.
Genotype 6: This type of hepatitis C is most common in Southeast Asia.
Hepatitis C genotypes 1, 2 and 3 are the most common genotypes found in the U.S.
In the past, treatment with interferon and ribavirin was most effective in patients with genotype 2 and 3. But thanks to the development of new direct antiviral drugs or DAAs, treatment success has increased dramatically for all genotypes.
Factors That Affect Treatment
In addition to genotype, several factors impact the success of treatment and should be considered.
Treatment success is more likely if you:
- Are young
- Have a low amount of virus in your blood (known as hepatitis C viral load)
- Have moderate liver scarring
- Have a shorter length of time with infection (before fibrosis has occurred)
Lifestyle factors also play a role. Make sure to:
- Avoid alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthfully
Your level of hepatitis C virus will be periodically checked through the course of treatment. Expect to see your provider regularly for evaluation while on antiviral medications to monitor for side effects and response to treatment.
Untreated hepatitis C can eventually develop into end-stage liver disease (decompensated cirrhosis), in which case liver transplantation is necessary.
does not cure hepatitis C. If your infection is still present at the time of transplant, the new liver will become infected. However, treatment can be started after you recover from surgery.
More about our Liver Transplant Program
Hepatitis C | Cedars-Sinai
Not what you’re looking for?
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that
is caused by the hepatitis C virus. There are several types of hepatitis C viruses.
Hepatitis C is one type of hepatitis.
Hepatitis is a redness and swelling
(inflammation) of the liver that sometimes causes lasting damage. The liver isn’t
to work the way it should.
Hepatitis C can be short-term
(acute) or long-term (chronic):
Acute hepatitis C. When people first get hepatitis C, this
a brief infection that lasts 6 months or less. Some people are able to fight the
infection at this stage and become cured. But most people go on to develop a chronic
infection where the virus remains in their body.
Chronic hepatitis C. This is a long-lasting infection that
happens when your body can’t get rid of the virus. It causes long-term liver
It is rare to recover from
hepatitis C infection, but some people are able to clear the virus from their body.
people with hepatitis C have the virus for the rest of their life. Most people with
hepatitis C have no or only mild symptoms, so they don’t always know they are
Talk with your healthcare provider
about getting tested for hepatitis C. Experts recommend all people over age 18 get
tested at least once in a lifetime. Testing more often is advised for people with
What causes hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is caused by infection
from the hepatitis C virus. Like other viruses, hepatitis C is passed from person
person. This happens when you have contact with an infected person’s blood.
You may get the virus if you:
- Share needles used for illegal
- Share drug-snorting equipment
- Have unprotected sex with someone who
has hepatitis C
- Get a tattoo with infected
Babies may also get the disease if
their mother has the hepatitis C virus.
Who is at risk for hepatitis C?
Anyone can get hepatitis C by
having contact with the blood of someone who is infected with the virus.
But some people are at higher risk
for the disease. They include:
- Children born to mothers who are
infected with hepatitis C
- People who have jobs that involve
contact with human blood, body fluids, or needles
- People who have a blood-clotting
disorder, such as hemophilia, and received clotting factors before 1987
- People who need dialysis treatment for
- People who had blood transfusions,
blood products, or organ transplants before the early 1990s
- People who take IV (intravenous)
- People who have unprotected
heterosexual or homosexual sex
- People with HIV
- People in prison
What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?
Many people with hepatitis C don’t
know they have it. In most cases, people who are infected with hepatitis C may not
any symptoms for several years.
It is still possible to pass the
virus to someone else if you have hepatitis C but do not have any symptoms.
Each person’s symptoms may vary.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Dark yellow urine
- Light-colored stools
- Muscle and joint pain
Hepatitis C symptoms may look like
other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
How is hepatitis C diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will give
you a physical exam and ask about your past health. They will also do a blood test
see if you have hepatitis C.
If your provider thinks you have long-term (chronic) hepatitis C,
they may do other tests to see how well your liver is working. These tests may include:
- More blood tests
- Special ultrasound or other imaging
- Liver biopsy. For this, the doctor
takes a small tissue sample from your liver. The sample is checked under a microscope
to see what type of liver disease you have and how severe it is.
How is hepatitis C treated?
Your healthcare provider will
monitor you closely and discuss treatments with you. Hepatitis C is usually treated
because it often becomes a long-term or chronic infection. Hepatitis C can be cured.
Your treatment may include taking one or more medicines for several months. Your
symptoms will be closely watched and managed as needed.
If severe liver damage takes place,
you may need a liver transplant.
What are possible complications of hepatitis C?
Many people with hepatitis C
develop chronic liver disease. You could need a liver transplant. Hepatitis C is the
most common cause of liver transplants in the U.S.
Liver failure can lead to
The risk for liver cancer is higher
in some people with hepatitis C.
What can I do to prevent hepatitis C?
There is no vaccine to prevent
hepatitis C. But you can protect yourself and others from getting infected by:
- Making sure any tattoos or body
piercings are done with sterile tools
- Not sharing needles and other drug
- Not sharing toothbrushes or
- Not touching another person’s blood
unless you wear gloves
- Using condoms during sex
Key points about hepatitis C
- Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused
by infection from the hepatitis C virus.
- The virus spreads when you have
contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluid.
- Anyone can get hepatitis C, but some
people are at higher risk. Ask your healthcare provider about your level of risk and
- You may not have any symptoms for
- The risk for liver cancer is higher in
people with hepatitis C.
- Treatment may include taking one or
more medicines for several months.
Tips to help you get the most from
a visit to your healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for your visit and
what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down
questions you want answered.
- Bring someone with you to help you ask
questions and remember what your provider tells you.
- At the visit, write down the name of a
new diagnosis and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new
instructions your provider gives you.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment
is prescribed and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your condition can be treated
in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is
recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if you do not take
the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If you have a follow-up appointment,
write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your provider
if you have questions.
Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.
Not what you’re looking for?
Diagnosing Hepatitis C
While the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be detected in blood between one to three weeks after the initial exposure, 80 percent of people with hepatitis C have no symptoms and go undiagnosed. Within approximately 50 days, most will begin to develop liver cell injury, although they will be asymptomatic (symptom-free).
About 15 percent of those exposed to HCV will clear their system of the virus within six months.
The remaining 85 percent will develop some level of chronic hepatitis C. Over time, this can cause serious liver damage, although the rate of progression can vary significantly from individual to individual.
Symptoms of hepatitis C
Symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
- Abdominal pain
- Aches and pains
- Joint pain
- Darker colored urine
- Loose, light-colored stool
And, cigarette smokers may suddenly dislike the taste of cigarettes.
In addition to some of the above symptoms, chronic hepatitis C infection may also cause:
- Severe fatigue
- Loss of appetite
Testing for hepatitis C
To diagnose hepatitis C, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.
Your doctor will also want to discuss your risk factors for hepatitis C.
Tests may include:
- Blood tests — to look for hepatitis C antibodies (proteins that your body has made to fight the hepatitis C virus) or genetic material from the virus
- Liver biopsy — removal of a sample of liver tissue to be examined
Complications of hepatitis C
Serious complications of hepatitis C infection include:
- The possibility that the infection will become chronic, leading to progressive liver failure
- Increased risk of liver cancer
Within about 20 years of exposure, approximately 20 percent of individuals develop cirrhosis, which leads to end-stage liver disease. Alcohol use can dramatically speed the onset of cirrhosis.
Hepatitis C – Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
The incubation period for hepatitis is approximately 30-50 days. At first, the disease manifests itself as a common respiratory disease: the patient’s temperature rises, headaches, body aches, and general malaise begin. Further, hepatitis A can occur in two forms: gastrological and flu-like. In the first case, the patient loses his appetite, worries about nausea, vomiting, pain in the upper abdomen, jaundice occurs, the stool becomes liquid and discolored, the urine darkens.
With a flu-like form of hepatitis A, the patient is worried about a runny nose, sore throat, and body temperature rises. But after a while, jaundice still appears. Hepatitis A can last from 1 week to 1.5-2 months, after which a recovery period begins, which can last up to six months. The disease never becomes chronic.
In order to prevent viral hepatitis A and E, the following rules are recommended:
- follow the rules of personal hygiene, wash hands with soap and water before eating and after going to the toilet, keep dishes and foodstuffs clean;
- Do not use water from random water sources and from the tap, drink only boiled water.
Remember that the virus dies at boiling temperature (100 degrees) only after 5 minutes. Persons from groups at high risk of infection are subject to immunization against viral hepatitis A: medical workers, service workers employed in food processing enterprises, as well as servicing water supply and sewerage facilities, equipment and networks, persons traveling to countries (regions) that are unfavorable for hepatitis A , as well as contact persons in the foci of hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B and C viruses are transmitted through blood and other biological fluids of the body, and infection most often occurs during non-medical manipulations accompanied by damage to the skin or mucous membranes: during injection of drugs, tattooing, cosmetic, manicure, pedicure and other procedures with insufficient processing tools.
Infection is possible through sexual intercourse, as well as from an infected mother to a child during childbirth.For the prevention of viral hepatitis B, C and D, it is recommended to use disposable instruments during medical manipulations, not to provide personal hygiene products for general use – razors, toothbrushes, scissors, towels, to observe the hygiene of intimate relationships – in case of casual sexual intercourse, a condom is a reliable means.
The most effective way to fight viral hepatitis B is vaccination. It is important to note that the hepatitis B vaccine also indirectly protects a person from the hepatitis D virus, since this virus can multiply only in the presence of the hepatitis B virus.
Attention! According to WHO, infection in adulthood leads to chronic hepatitis in less than 5% of cases, while infection in infancy and early childhood leads to chronic hepatitis in about 95% of cases.
A full course of vaccination causes an increase in the level of protective antibodies in more than 95% of infants, children and young adults. Protection persists for at least 20 years and probably throughout life.In this regard, WHO does not recommend re-vaccination of persons who have received a three-dose vaccination.
In accordance with the National Preventive Calendar, vaccination against viral hepatitis B is administered to children in the maternity hospital, preferably in the first 24 hours of a child’s life. In the 1st month, the second vaccination is given, and the third – 6 months after the start of vaccination. Vaccination for early unvaccinated adults is carried out at the age of 55 years in medical organizations at the place of residence free of charge.
According to the Department of Rospotrebnadzor for Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra for 6 months of 2019, the incidence of hepatitis is 15.2% lower than the same period last year, and 19.6% lower than the average long-term level for 5 years. Over the past six months, the incidence of acute hepatitis A in the district is 34.7% higher than the same period last year; higher than the national average by 70.2%.
Hepatitis A is more common in children who contract the virus through dirty hands.That is why this form of hepatitis is called “unwashed hand disease”.
The incidence of acute hepatitis B remains 10 times lower than the level of last year, and the incidence of acute hepatitis C is 33.6% higher than the same period last year and is almost 3 times higher than the national average.
The incidence of chronic hepatitis is almost 2 times higher than the national average. The incidence of chronic hepatitis B is practically at the level of the last year. The incidence of chronic hepatitis C is lower than the same period last year by 26.2%.
BU KhMAO – Ugra “Surgut District Polyclinic” invites the attached population to be vaccinated against hepatitis B. Protect yourself and your children from hepatitis!
Head of the Department of Medical Prevention, BU “Surgut District Polyclinic” Elkhovskaya Nina Ivanovna
90,000 treatment and diagnosis of causes and symptoms in Moscow
Ekaterina Vladimirovna Velikanova
29 October 2021
Inna Yurievna, doctor with a capital letter! He takes care of patients, very attentive and competent specialist! Explains clearly and easily on examinations, treatment and prognosis of the disease.The prescribed examinations are all necessary, nothing superfluous, and the course of treatment is effective! & Nb …
Agarkova S. A.
15 June 2021
I express my heartfelt gratitude to Valeria Aleksandrovna for the attentive, professional and patient attitude towards patients. Communication with you gives hope for recovery and the fact that in our medicine there are real specialists in their profession.Thanks to all the advisory …
Kurochkina Valentina Nikolaevna
4 June 2021
Inna Yurievna is a competent specialist. It is noticeable that he wants to cure the patient from the heart. Competent approach to work. I am grateful to her for making the correct diagnosis and choosing a treatment regimen.
Ptitsyna Natalia Nikolaevna
5 March 2021
I want to express my deep gratitude to the gastroenterologist Olga Chuikova, this is a high-level specialist, when assigning me to remove a tumor in the intestine, she checked all the information on my examinations in the clinic, even for 2020 and 2019, prescribed tests, not only with regards to this situation. ..
17 March 2020
I would like to express my gratitude to Elena Yurievna Lopatina for her professionalism.
Very quickly cured me of biliary slange (previously suffered with it for 4 months)
Feyzrakhmanoa Ildar Fatehovich
15 November 2019
Many thanks to Lopatina E.Yu for my salvation and competent treatment of the gastrointestinal tract, was able to quickly cure and avoid gastric resection. No operation needed! Many thanks and health to all of us!
Spouses Ildar Feyzrakhmanoa and Zuleikha Anderzhanova
22 May 2019
Good afternoon! 21.05.2019 was consulted by a gastroenterologist, Ph.D. Lopatina Elena Yurievna. I would like to express my gratitude for such high professionalism. A very competent and talented doctor. She clearly described the treatment regimen, explained everything. All my questions were answered by …
15 May 2019
I would like to express my gratitude to the gastroenterologist T.V. for professional work and dedication to the profession. Very attentive doctor. Professional with vast experience !!
90,000 Viral hepatitis – what you need to know?
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Viral hepatitis (A, B, E, C, D)
Viral hepatitis is not a very pleasant family of at least five viral hepatitis (A, B, E, C, D).They are responsible for five different diseases.
Viral hepatitis A
Viral hepatitis A is called fecal-oral, or, more simply, the disease of unwashed hands. Viral hepatitis A is more common than all other members of the hepatitis clan. First of all, preschool children get sick with viral hepatitis A, having tasted unwashed fruits, grabbing a sandwich with dirty hands, licking a toy or their own fingers. Viral hepatitis A does not produce severe and chronic forms.The patient’s temperature rises, weakness, fatigue, vomiting are observed, and after a week he becomes like a huge mimosa. As soon as the child turns yellow, he is already non-contagious and will recover in a couple of weeks, having said goodbye to viral hepatitis A forever. Many doctors believe that for this disease it is better to be treated at home, and not in a hospital. The main thing is good care, proper nutrition, cheerful mood. And best of all, it is mom who organizes it.
Prevention of viral hepatitis A
Dear mothers, the best prevention of viral hepatitis A for all time: do not forget “fragrant soap and fluffy towel”.It is in your power to make sure that your beloved child soap their hands before eating, have an afternoon snack only with well-washed fruits. If someone in the family has hepatitis, treat his things, toys, dishes with chloramine. Viral hepatitis A is much less common in adults. But this also happens. Remember this when going on a trip, first of all, to Asian countries. There you just need to start the day with reading “Moidodyr”, because this children’s book describes in detail all the necessary hygiene requirements that will save you from illness.
Viral hepatitis E
Viral hepatitis E by the mode of transmission is similar to viral hepatitis A. In Moscow and the middle lane, viral hepatitis E is very rare. Basically it is “brought” from Central Asia. There, this infection is recorded annually. Infection with viral hepatitis E can theoretically occur through household contact, but most often through water, when fecal runoff gets into it during floods or mountain avalanches. An epidemic is usually like an explosion.Mostly affects people of blooming age – from 15 to 30 years. Experts are confident that the liver is the only target of the virus. Viral hepatitis E disease usually begins with nausea, loss of appetite, weakness, and jaundice appears after 4-10 days. In uncomplicated cases, recovery occurs in about a month. Men are twice as likely to be affected by the disease than women. However, viral hepatitis E is very dangerous for pregnant women: almost one in five does not survive.
Prevention of viral hepatitis E
In Central Asia, to prevent viral hepatitis E, it is best to drink only boiled water.The hepatitis E virus, remaining frozen, dies in boiling water.
Pregnant women, you risk the most. That is why, be as attentive as possible to the rules of personal hygiene. During an outbreak of the disease, it is best to go to relatives in another city or village. And at the first alarming symptoms, be sure to see a doctor and in no case refuse hospitalization.
Travel lovers and business travelers, information especially for you. The hepatitis E virus feels extremely at ease in the countries of Southeast Asia (especially in India, Burma and China), Africa, Central America (less often in the Asian region of the former USSR), so the above tips may also come in handy during your travels.
Viral hepatitis B
Viral hepatitis B is perhaps no less a problem of our century than AIDS. Only AIDS is rarely sick, and hepatitis B is very common, and usually 20-40-year-olds get sick. It is difficult to diagnose viral hepatitis B without special laboratory tests. But a yellowed face is certainly a serious reason to see a doctor. The virus is transmitted through the blood, semen, vaginal discharge of patients. All donated blood for transfusions is tested for hepatitis B virus without fail.And this seems to be true, since no more than two out of a hundred people are infected through the blood. Unfortunately, half of the patients with viral hepatitis B are people who have been very unsuccessful in visiting the dental or gynecological office, as well as victims of “syringe hepatitis” when the infection occurred during injections with a dirty syringe. The rest usually fall ill with viral hepatitis B during sexual contact with a sick person or through everyday life: through a common toothbrush, manicure accessories, razor .. Many patients with viral hepatitis B, as well as carriers of the virus, without knowing it, safely infect others.Approximately 2% of patients with chronic low-activity hepatitis are dangerous, which they themselves, as a rule, do not even suspect. Pregnant women transmit the virus to their babies most often when they pass through the birth canal. Often it is fatal for a baby and contributes to the development of liver cancer, and more often than all other hepatitis it transforms into a chronic form, sometimes lasting for decades. Risk groups: physicians working with blood, including in intensive care units; children born to a sick mother; family members where there is a patient with hepatitis or a virus carrier; patients who often undergo surgery; drug addicts; homosexuals.
Prevention of viral hepatitis B
To prevent viral hepatitis B, never use someone else’s toothbrush, manicure set, razor! This is especially true for families where there are patients with hepatitis B. It is useful for them to know that the virus dies when clothes and linen are boiled for at least 45 minutes.
In case of accidental sexual contact, a condom will save you from infection not only with viral hepatitis B, but also a whole bunch of other diseases.
Refuse the injection if it is not done with a disposable syringe taken out in front of your eyes from a special package.
Dear ladies, you better make sure you are healthy before you get pregnant.
Dear teenagers, tattoos are in vogue, decorate yourself only in beauty salons, where all hygiene rules are observed.
Earrings – please pierce your ears, in beauty salons.
Gentlemen traveling, you should know that viral hepatitis B is one of the first places in mortality among those who have been abroad for a long time, especially in Asia, Africa, Central America.
The best way to protect yourself from viral hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated. They do not refuse her when a baby is born, even in prosperous countries, Belgium and the United States. WHO sees vaccinations as the only way to cope with hepatitis B virus infection by 2015. In our country, alas, this is unrealistic. There is a domestic vaccine, but its industrial production has not been established. There is an imported Belgian vaccine in Russia. And this is also a way out. In the first place, of course, children, then it is necessary to vaccinate medical workers, better than students, as well as the family environment of the sick, all the soldiers fighting in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Viral hepatitis D
Viral hepatitis D “goes in pairs” with hepatitis B. Viral hepatitis D seems to parasitize on B. This “duet” gives rise to eight out of ten severe forms, seven out of ten cases of chronic hepatitis. Fighting viral hepatitis B, there is a chance to permanently deal with viral hepatitis D. If your loved one suffers from a severe form of viral hepatitis B, you need to insist that he be examined for the presence of markers for hepatitis D. Infection with hepatitis D and its prevention are the same. that with viral hepatitis B.
Viral hepatitis C
“Affectionate killer” – this is how specialists call viral hepatitis C. In Russia, this disease has been diagnosed only for the last few years. But now it now and then makes itself felt in different parts of the country. Outbreaks of viral hepatitis C have been registered in Moscow, Voronezh, St. Petersburg and other cities. Clinically, viral hepatitis C is mild, lethality is one in a hundred, but often ends in severe chronic liver diseases.Fatigue is often the main symptom. The disease can also occur with pronounced jaundice. Almost half of infections occur during blood transfusions, so the presence of hepatitis C virus in donated blood is monitored. Prevention of viral hepatitis C – remember the recommendations on how to cope with hepatitis B and D.
If your face turns yellow, see a doctor, apparently you have hepatitis or, in any case, something is wrong with the liver. Unfortunately, having recovered from one of the hepatitis, you did not get immunity to the rest.
Prevention of viral hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is an infectious inflammation of the liver caused by viruses such as A, B, C, D and others. They can be acute, chronic and subclinical, but they are always life threatening. Unlike medicinal, autoimmune and other non-infectious hepatitis, viral hepatitis is manifested not only by jaundice, an increase in the volume of the liver and its soreness, but also by headache, high fever, nausea and vomiting. You need to know that it is almost impossible to get rid of some viruses, for example, C, and all treatment measures are reduced to relieving symptoms and inhibiting the reproduction of the virus.Hepatitis viruses are transmitted mainly with human biological fluids, are highly resistant in the external environment, and can survive in water and on needles for up to two to three weeks. To avoid infection with hepatitis, it is necessary to completely cut off the chains of possible infection, since even the most persistent immunity is not able to prevent the development of the clinical picture. In addition, it must be borne in mind that hepatitis B and C are transmitted from mother to fetus. Prevention of hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is transmitted mainly by the fecal-oral route – through water, food, common items.The most effective measures to prevent infection will be:
- Compliance with the rules of personal hygiene, washing hands before meals and after each visit to the toilet.
- Maintaining cleanliness in the house.
- Drinking only clean water. Hepatitis A is often acquired through drinking from unknown sources.
- It is strictly forbidden to use uncomposted manure and dung as fertilizer in the soil.
- Vegetables and fruits should be washed thoroughly before use.
- Never share with other items such as a razor, scissors, towel, toothbrush.
In general, hepatitis A is very easy to get infected in the home. Therefore, if a person with such a diagnosis appears among your acquaintances, it is better to completely exclude contacts until he recovers. Prevention of hepatitis B and C The most dangerous among all infectious hepatitis are precisely those caused by types B and C. They have not only a similar clinical picture and the need for an intensive course of treatment, but also common routes of infection.Infection occurs through the use of non-sterile medical instruments, blood transfusion, sexually and from mother to fetus, much less often hepatitis B and C are transmitted through the joint use of hygiene items – toothbrushes, towels, napkins, shavers, MANICURE KITS ..
Prevention measures include:
- Close control of the use of syringes, boring machines and other instruments in medical institutions. After each patient, reusable equipment must be disinfected, and disposable equipment must not be reused.Of course, the risk of contracting hepatitis in a healthcare setting is low, but don’t overlook the possibility of employee negligence.
- Avoid promiscuous sex, always use a condom.
- Drug addiction is a special diagnosis. Needless to say, drugs should not be used? If you do do this, then do not use used syringes and needles, as well as straws for inhaling cocaine – even after lying for a month, they can contain hepatitis viruses.
- If there was a situation in which you could become infected, then take the analysis as soon as possible. Remember that early treatment is much better than late treatment, and the incubation period for hepatitis B is 120 days, C – about 150.
- Do not share personal hygiene items with other people.
Hepatitis is transmitted from mother to fetus. However, this is not a sentence for a baby – a pregnant woman needs to see a doctor who will prescribe a course of treatment.Combined with the patient’s high discipline and personal hygiene, medication in most cases avoids contamination. Prevention of hepatitis D. The hepatitis D virus is a kind of parasitic virus that cannot multiply without the type B virus. Therefore, preventive measures will be similar to the prevention of hepatitis B.
Decency, cleanliness and the absence of addictions are the best measure for the prevention of viral hepatitis.
Viral hepatitis: how not to get sick
Hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver caused by a viral infection, is one of the most common and serious infectious conditions in the world.There are five hepatitis viruses, defined as types A, B, C, D, and E. Depending on the type of hepatitis, people can become infected either from infected body fluids or from contaminated food and water.
Infection with types B, C and D occurs through the blood of an infected person, and in the case of hepatitis B and C, also through unprotected sex. Type D infects only those who already have hepatitis B. Types A and E are usually transmitted through contaminated water or food and are closely associated with inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene.
Acute infection may present with symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), excessive fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Types B and C may be asymptomatic in some cases at an early stage of the disease. A significant proportion of people infected with these viruses can only learn about their illness when it becomes chronic, sometimes several decades after infection. Unaware of their infection, they can pass it on to other people.
Hepatitis infections are common throughout the world. In many countries, data on the prevalence of infection are not available; however, an estimated half a billion people are chronically infected with hepatitis B or C. It is estimated that such chronic infections account for 57% of cirrhosis and 78% of primary liver cancers. 240 million people in the world have chronic hepatitis B infection, 150 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection. Viral hepatitis is one of the eight leading causes of death in the world, with 1.4 million deaths annually.
Hepatitis B / HIV and hepatitis C / HIV coinfections are becoming a growing problem in countries with HIV epidemics and among people who inject drugs. For such patients, concomitant viral hepatitis becomes one of the main causes of death, even with timely antiretroviral treatment. Acute hepatitis B is curable, and it is estimated that 20-30% of patients with chronic form B (HBV) can be treated effectively. In recent years, new oral antiviral drugs have also been developed for the treatment of C infection (HCV).Vaccination is an effective way to prevent hepatitis B. In Russia, the vaccine against viral hepatitis B is included in the calendar of compulsory free vaccinations. The effectiveness of this treatment has been confirmed in 95% of cases. There is currently no vaccine against hepatitis C.
Another opportunity to reduce the spread of hepatitis B and C is the elimination of injections with non-sterile equipment and the transfusion of untested donated blood and products created on its basis.
About holding the Day of Health on the topic
“Let’s keep the liver healthy”
On July 23, 2016, the State Budgetary Healthcare Institution “Center for Medical Prevention” of the Ministry of Health of the Krasnodar Territory organizes the next Health Day, which is held within the framework of the World Hepatitis Day (July 28) under the slogan “Let’s keep the liver healthy”. Health Day is held with the aim of preventing liver diseases, promoting the principles of a healthy lifestyle.A demonstration Day of Health with the participation of regional specialists will be held in the Krasnoarmeysky District. During the Day of Health, organized jointly with the district administration and with the participation of the press, diagnostic studies, consultations, lectures, promotional and festive events will be carried out.
World Hepatitis Day is celebrated annually on 28 July. The holiday was established by WHO at the initiative of the World Alliance Against Hepatitis. In 2016, it is celebrated for the 9th time. The date is celebrated by medical workers, epidemiologists and virologists.The date of World Hepatitis Day is dedicated to the memory of the doctor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus and studied its pathological effects on the liver.
Health is the most important wealth of every person. The quality of life mainly depends on the indicators of physical condition. Unfortunately, most serious diseases today are widespread and threaten the general well-being. This includes hepatitis. According to medical workers, the declared International Day against Viral Hepatitis allows focusing on preventive measures, increasing the number of people vaccinated and implementing national programs to combat this disease.
Hepatitis is a viral liver disease that wreaks havoc on the entire body. A viral infection spreads easily and can cause an epidemiological case. This disease is recognized by doctors all over the world as a globally dangerous public health problem. According to the WHO, viral hepatitis has already affected about 2 billion people, that is, every third inhabitant of the Earth. Someone has already been ill, and someone is a carrier of pathology.
In the Russian Federation, on the basis of a government decree in 2014, hepatitis was included in the list of socially dangerous diseases.According to rough estimates, in 2015 in Russia, about 2.5% of the population are sick or infected with severe liver disease.
Effective preventive measures against the disease are hygiene, attentiveness during blood transfusion and caution when choosing sexual partners. The main protection against hepatitis of viral etiology is vaccination. In Russia, the vaccine against viral hepatitis B is included in the calendar of compulsory free vaccinations. Of considerable importance in prevention is the dissemination of information about the pathways of the disease, the need for immunization, compliance with hygiene rules and the passage of medical examination.
The World Hepatitis Day is aimed, first of all, at drawing the attention of the general public and specialists to this problem, increasing the interest of citizens of each country in carrying out preventive measures. The use of hygienic knowledge in practice by each person, recognition of the importance of immunization of hepatitis A and B, as well as participation in vaccination campaigns will help preserve the health of the population not only of each individual country, but also of the world’s population as a whole.
GBUZ “Center for Medical Prevention” of the Ministry of Health of the Krasnodar Territory.
Hepatitis C – just about complicated
The term “hepatitis” refers to any inflammatory disease of the liver. The development of hepatitis is provoked by alcohol abuse, as well as some medications, but often when we talk about hepatitis, we mean primarily viral hepatitis. There are various types of viral hepatitis, which differ from each other in the modes of transmission, mechanisms of liver damage, and the duration of the disease.
Hepatitis C is an infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. WHO estimates that more than 71 million people worldwide are infected with the virus. A sick person may not be aware of the presence of hepatitis C, and often its identification is an accidental finding during examination. This is due to the fact that the virus may not have any special symptoms and not manifest itself in any way.
The course of hepatitis C can vary.Some patients have an advanced stage of acute viral hepatitis with the following symptoms:
nausea and vomiting
darkening of urine
discoloration of feces
Symptoms usually appear 2-12 weeks after infection.However, in most cases, they are not expressed or completely absent in the acute period, and in chronic infection they can be very nonspecific: increased fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, discomfort in the right hypochondrium, etc.
How does the infection develop without treatment and what is the danger of hepatitis C?
Some patients (15 to 30%) recover on their own, usually after an acute infection.In about 60% of patients, the process becomes chronic, and in half of this group of patients it progresses and leads to complications. Under the influence of the virus, the liver tissue is restructured. Protein synthesis, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, detoxification, etc. are disrupted. In extreme cases, cirrhosis of the liver develops. In addition, the hepatitis C virus contributes to the development of a dangerous tumor – hepatocellular carcinoma. In the later stages, extrahepatic manifestations may appear: renal failure, vascular lesions, rash, joint pain.
How can the hepatitis C virus be transmitted?
parenteral. This is the most common route of infection. The use of shared needles for intravenous drug administration is the main factor in the transmission of the virus. Do not forget about tattoos, permanent make-up, piercing in salons that do not provide proper sterilization of instruments.
sexual. With unprotected (without a condom) sexual intercourse with an infected person, you may be infected with the hepatitis C virus. However, it is important to remember that sexual transmission of the virus does not occur in 100% of cases. In some situations in a couple, where one of the partners has hepatitis C, and the partners have unprotected sex, infection does not occur. This can create the false impression that the virus is not sexually transmitted, and ultimately lead to infection of the second partner over time.
mother-to-child transmission . The American Center for Disease Control estimates this risk at 6 infections per 100 newborns. But it rises significantly with HIV / hepatitis C coinfection.
Currently, donated blood and organs are thoroughly tested to exclude the transmission of hepatitis. Transmission of the virus through household items is also extremely unlikely.Handshaking, kissing, and hugging are also safe.
Does a patient with hepatitis C need to follow a special diet?
A balanced diet is recommended for all people, regardless of the presence of hepatitis C. Diet No. 5, as well as refusal from alcohol, are advisable in the period of exacerbation of hepatitis and undergoing antiviral therapy. All patients with hepatitis C are advised to reduce alcohol consumption or quit alcohol, which cannot be said about coffee, since a number of data have been obtained on the beneficial effect of 1-2 cups of coffee a day on the liver.
When, whom and how to treat hepatitis C?
Most experts believe that treatment in an acute period is inappropriate, and recommend monitoring after six months.
Patients with chronic hepatitis require examination and therapy. For many years, patients were treated with interferon and ribavirin alone. Thanks to these drugs, the lives of thousands of people have been saved, but it should be recognized that they have side effects that significantly reduce the patient’s quality of life.Now in our arsenal we have a number of direct antiviral drugs that make it possible to treat hepatitis C faster and easier for the patient. However, such treatment must be supervised by a physician.
In addition, it is important to remember that regular observation, control of the so-called “liver function tests” (ALT, AST, bilirubin) and taking hepatoprotectors do not replace antiviral treatment!