I am Hepatitis C a form of hepatitis liver inflammation that is caused by a virus known on the street as HCV. Before HCV was discovered in 1989, they used to refer to me as a related name to my little brothers, “non-A-non-B hepatitus”. A laughing stock of the virus world, but that all changed in 1989. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of people are able to deal with me and develop immunity. That doesn’t speak for the rest, and also 15 to 20 percent of them that will show acute signs of the me, Hepatitus C.
It is known that for each 100 chronic Hepatitis C patients, 20 will develop liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis is a nasty scarring of the liver, which can progress into Liver cancer. I have infected over 180 million people around the world, and am now responsible for the majority of liver transplants, Hepatocellular carcinoma and also the major cause of death among HIV co-infected patients.
Most times, people that are carrier me in the chronic state, chronic hepatitis C, will have no symptoms. This doesn’t speak well for myself, but without further delay over time I can cause long term damage to the liver. This is due to my blood borne nature. I work slowly and severe liver damage may not develop until 10-40 years after my initial infection. Mixing things up, my symptoms vary based on each individual carrier. Often times they will resemble flu symptoms which include:
– body aches
– loss of appetite
– abdominal pain
– upper right quadrant pain
Because, like I mentioned, these symptoms resemble the flue, most people are not aware that they have me until they visit a doctor and have a physical exam. Even then sometimes I can go unnoticed unless they have blood work done. Cases often exist, where a individuals will go to donate bllod or plasma, and will return positive results to a HCV test.
Needle sharing, drug sharing, and unprotected sex are just a few ways in which I can spread rampantly. It’s as simple as blood-to-blood contact. Wherever that exists I also exist. Things like piercings and tattoo needles are some of my favorites.