Hepatitis C often is silent, it shows no symptoms and even when some symptoms occur they vary massively and can be associated with other illnesses, therefor it can go undetected for year’s even decades. When the condition is left untreated it can lead to more sometimes fatal conditions. People who suffer with chronic hepatitis C rather than the acute form are those who have the condition for more than 6 months and are at risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis of the liver can actually develop a couple of decades after the person is first infected with the virus. Cirrhosis can damage the liver and loss of liver function can happen. Hepatitis C can also lead to liver failure and cancer of the liver.
There is no actual vaccination for hepatitis C which is a very serious condition and as the symptoms are often not present it is hard to detect the condition in its early stages. Conditions detected in early stages are always better to treat and the prognosis and outlook are considerable better too. This in mind prevention is the best cure.
Hepatitis C is spread through contaminated blood. Before the 1990’s a large proportion who contracted hepatitis C did so through blood transfusions as it had only just be identified as a virus in 1989 and accurate screening wasn’t developed till 1992. In the developing countries people are still contracting it through medical equipment such as syringes or surgical equipment. In the developed countries it is mostly contracted through the use of share illegal drug use equipment such as syringes. It is vital that such things are not shared to prevent such virus being contracted. Other items which may allow the spreading of the virus are; razors, toothbrush, and items that may contain other peoples blood. Using a condom with new partners can also prevent you from contracting hepatitis C.
It is vital for intravenous drug users to be tested on a regular basis even if they have only used such drugs on one or two occasions. Intravenous drug users are said to be the highest risk group as they often share equipment used to take such drugs.