According to CDC (Centre for Disease Control & Prevention) which is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services in US these are 10 questions public need to be kept well informed.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is simply inflammation of the liver. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can all cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is often caused by a virus.
How is it different from Hepatitis A & B?
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are all liver infections caused by three different viruses. They are spread in different ways and can affect the liver differently. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus, which means that a person must come in contact with infected blood to contract it.
What blood tests are used to test for hepatitis C?
The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is to get tested and you may need more than one type of test. A blood test, called a hepatitis C antibody test, can tell if you have ever been infected with the hepatitis C virus. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected. Another test, called a hepatitis C virus RNA test, can tell if you have a current infection with the hepatitis C virus. RNA is the virus’ genetic material.
Is it possible to clear the hepatitis C virus?
Yes, approximately 15%–25% of people who are infected with the hepatitis C virus clear it from their bodies without treatment and do not develop chronic infection. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 71 million people throughout the world have chronic hepatitis C.
Can hepatitis C virus be spread through sexual contact?
Yes, but the risk of transmission from sexual contact is believed to be low. The risk increases for people who have multiple sex partners, have a sexually transmitted disease, engage in rough sex, or are infected with HIV.
Can you get hepatitis C by getting a tattoo or piercing?
A few major research studies have not shown hepatitis C to be spread through licensed, commercial tattooing facilities. However, transmission of hepatitis C (and other infectious diseases) is possible when poor infection-control practices are used during tattooing or piercing. Unregulated tattooing and piercing are known to occur in prisons and other informal settings and may put a person at risk of infection.
Is there a Vaccine for Prevention of Hepatitis C?
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C currently. Prevention of the virus focuses on handling needles safely, having protected sex, and refraining from intravenous drug use.
What role does Diet & Lifestyle have in Management?
A person infected with Hepatitis C need to understand that drinking alcohol and a fatty diet speeds the progression of liver disease. The sooner you know you have hepatitis C, stop drinking alcohol and start eating a more balanced diet. In addition to hepatitis C, you’re at risk for faster progression to cirrhosis if you also have health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and a fatty liver. Watching your diet and getting regular exercise can help reduce inflammation in your liver and may help slow the progression to cirrhosis.
Can a person have normal liver enzyme (e.g., ALT) level and still have hepatitis C?
In some cases, Yes. It is common for persons with chronic hepatitis C to have a liver enzyme level that goes up and down, with periodic returns to normal or near normal. Some people with hepatitis C have liver enzyme levels that are normal for over a year even though they have chronic liver disease.
Should a woman with hepatitis C virus infection avoid breastfeeding?
No. There is no evidence that breastfeeding spreads hepatitis C virus. Precautions may be considered if a mother with hepatitis C has cracked or bleeding nipples because there is not enough information on the risks of transmission when this happens.