A main cause of Hepatitis C is through coming into contact with the blood of another person who has the virus, such as through sharing needles (in the case of drug use), sharing toothbrushes and other bathroom products like razors. It is possible for the virus to be spread from mother to unborn child, and also through unprotected sex, although this is not a common occurrence.
It is possible to treat Hepatitis C through medicines that prevent it from spreading throughout the body. Such medications often need to be taken as a course for many weeks. Injection treatments are also available. Medications have a 90% success rate, generally speaking. However, no-one is ever immune from Hepatitis C, and there is always a risk of repeated infection.
The symptoms of Hepatitis C can be severe and hard to notice until they have progressed to an acute level. Symptoms include:
- Significant liver damage
- Poor appetite
- Increased temperature
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) if the condition is left untreated
In extreme cases, Hepatitis C can cause severe liver damage and possibly liver failure.
Treatments for Hepatitis C include the following:
- Injection treatments
In order to minimise the risk of contracting Hepatitis C, it is important to avoid unprotected sex, shared use of needles and/or razors.