Early intervention is the best way to succeed in a battle, similar goes with the fight against hepatitis C!
Hepatitis has been a much pondered and highly damaging form of disease striking the entire world, off late. India doesn’t lie back in the fight. In fact, the country holds a pretty high count in this context, contributing a lot to the global population stricken by hepatitis C.
What is hepatitis C?
If you have been reading this word and yet fail to understand what it is exactly, here’s a little guide on it.
- Hepatitis C is known to be a blood borne disease which gets infected through the blood borne mediums.
- HCV or the HCV is the prime carrier of this disease that gets transmitted through the various processes that includes a direct contact with the blood such as blood transfusion, etc.
- The disease mainly affects the liver leading to its disruption and lowering its functions in the due course. This is why it is mainly known as a liver disease.
- The extreme cases of hepatitis c infection lead to the condition of liver cirrhosis, if left undiagnosed and untreated. Chronic HCV is fatal in nature and it claims of taking down a number of lives of patients suffering from liver cirrhosis and/or liver cancer.
- This mainly happens because many a times even the chronically infected patients don’t even know that they have been infected, leading to the further disease progression in an asymptomatic manner for many years.
Few surprising facts about Hepatitis C
- 25% of HIV patients also suffer from HCV
- 2-10% of patients with HCV also have HBV
- HCV progresses faster in people with HIV infections
- HCV is one of the prime causes of liver disease, liver transplants, and the leading cause of death due to a liver disease.
- About 75% of adults with HCV are baby boomers.
- Chronic liver disease (caused due to HCV) is a leading cause of African-Americans deaths.
- Rates of chronic HCV infections are higher for the African-Americans as compared to the people of other ethnicities.
- HCV is not transmitted via coughing, sneezing, or cuddling an HCV patient.
- HCV doesn’t get transmitted through breast milk.
- The risk of HCV transmission from mother to child is approximately 2-8%. But, if the mother is also HIV infected, the risk of passing on HCV grows higher for the baby.
Symptoms/ Warning Signs of Hepatitis C
It has been medically proved that up to 80% of the patients suffering from acute hepatitis C condition won’t even experience the symptoms.
However, in some cases, patients experience certain symptoms that may range from mild to severe, such as:-
- Poor appetite
In some cases of developing hepatitis C symptoms soon after the infection, patients may have the following symptoms:-
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Joint or muscle pain
- Abnormalities in urine or bowel movements
- Yellowing of eyes or skin
These early symptoms commonly occur around the first six or seven weeks soon after the exposure to the HCV.
Based on the body conditions and HCV significance, some of the patients may develop the symptoms within two weeks of the infection however, others might notice the delayed symptoms.
This would even take a time ranging between 6 months to 10 years or even more to get aware of any of the symptoms. This is mainly because it may take years for the virus to lead to causing liver damage.
Causes of the Disease
Hepatitis C can also be caused by any of the following reasons:
- HCV viral infection
- Inappropriate blood transfusion
- Having multiple sex partners
- Engaging in rough sex
- Already having a sexually transmitted disease
- Being already infected with HIV
- Having sex during a menstrual period with a person infected with HCV
- Having open cuts or sores on your genitals while having sex with HCV affected person
Hep C Treatment
Based on the viral infection, the process of hep c treatment may vary as per the below mentioned forms:-
Under this, the patient is treated with the suitable antiviral medications with the intention to inhibit the further growth and clearing down the already existing virus from the body. The goal of this treatment is to simply have no hepatitis C virus detected in the body after a minimum of 12 weeks of medications. However, the length of treatment solely depends on the hepatitis C genotype, the existing liver damage, patients other medical conditions and the prior treatments undertaken.
Avoiding the use of excess alcohol is also a good way to treat the disease.
Liver transplantation is done in case the patient develops serious complications from the chronic hepatitis C infection. During liver transplantation, the surgeon removes the damaged liver and replaces it with another healthy liver which is borrowed from a deceased donor however; a very small number of living donors also donate a portion of their livers even when they are alive. In most of the cases, the liver transplant alone doesn’t cure the disease. The infection most likely returns back, requiring further treatment with the antiviral medication for preventing further damage to the newly transplanted liver.
Even though there is no vaccine yet invented for hepatitis C cure, the doctor likely recommends vaccines against hepatitis A and B viruses.
Anytime a patient finds him/her detected with the HCV infection, they must visit the nearest Infectious Disease Doctor, Hepatologist, Gastroenterologist, or the Primary Care Provider (PCP) for a perfect treatment of the disease.
After Treatment Precautions
Once the treatment is completed, patients need to pay a keen attention on following precautions:-
- Stop drinking alcohol as the consumption of alcohol speeds up the progression of liver disease.
- Avoid all sorts of medications that may cause liver damage in consultation with the doctor, including over-the-counter medications, herbal preparations and dietary supplements.
- Patients must cover their wounds, avoid sharing razors or toothbrushes.
- Avoid donating blood, body organs or semen.
- Perform safe sex
Hep C Prevention Precautions
- Always wear proper rubber gloves if one needs to touch used bandages or menstrual products that weren’t disposed rightly.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly whenever coming in contact with blood.
- Avoid sharing your personal care items like- toothbrush, razor, or manicure scissors.
- In case one feels they are HCV infected, they should immediately contact the doctor and get the blood tested as early treatment of this disease helps in preventing any serious liver damage.
- Try preventing to get any exposure to the HCV virus or direct blood contact with an infected person.
- Ensure use of sterile needles only during a tattoo sessions.
- Avoid sharing needles.
- Having safe sex.
Hep C Conditions in India
- According to World Health Organization data, hepatitis C is killing half a million people every year and infects figures is immensely growing to 150 million, globally. Out of which India remains to contribute on a higher scale. This is mainly due to the ignorance of the causes of hepatitis C in India that many of the cases are still being screened.
- Apart from this, many of cases remain unidentified due to the costly multiple tests involved which remain out of the reach of the patients.
- However, India remains to be a global hub in case of offering the best medications for the treatment of the disease at the best prices as compared to the other players on the globe.
- Sovaldi a combination anti viral medicine which is used for the treatment of chronic hepatitis-C infections is best available in India through number of vendors supplying the same. In fact, India is being globally known as the best place to undergo the medical hep c treatment due to the highly reduced costs involved with the medication.
- Also, the government today is raising a higher number of awareness programs on the same for lowering down the cases of infection and higher rate of treatments.
Why global patients find it better to undergo a hepatitis C treatment in conjugation India?
- Greg Jefferys, an internationally respected Hepatitis C activist who himself beard the pain of the disease, currently assists people with the disease to access affordable generic Hep C treatment since the year 2015.
- Discovered by Hepatitis C, genotype 2 and unable to afford the high cost involved with the treatment, he came all the way to India for receiving the then developed generic Sovaldi to purchase 84 pills of generic Sovaldi and returned back to Australia.
- Now cured, he still believes and also promotes the patients to get the best suitable medical help at the most affordable prices from India.
- The overall treatment for his medication was calculated around $84,000 which wasn’t his cup of tea at all. But, with the generic version of Sovaldi about to be released in India in May 2015, he believed to get in touch with the several trustworthy agencies supplying these drugs.
- This generic drug cost him less than $1,000 for a 12-week treatment. Since then, people have been reaching India for the best possible economic help for their hep c treatment.
Hepatitis C has been troubling people across the globe and India has set to be a major player in offering the most pocket friendly medications for it so far. There are several agencies offering both online and offline medical supplies for the patients on a global scale and Anand Medicos is amongst the top names in the list.