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How can hepatitis C be trasmitted?
Hepatitis C is a disease that inflammates the liver and can cause a lot of damage to it. It can eventually lead to liver cancer if nothing is done to treat it.
Once you get infected with the hepatitis C virus you enter a waiting period of aproximately 6 months. In this time the virus infection shows no signs and symptoms, so in most cases it's only discovered during a routine test. 20% of the people infected eliminate the virus from their bodies in these, first 6 months, but in 80% of the cases, it remains there and after the time passes it starts to "work". In the first 6 months, the disease is called acute hepatitis C. If you got the virus and you're lucky, the doctor discovers it while it's in the acute phase, and it can easily be treated. But, in the majority of cases it becomes active and acute hepatitis C turns into the dangerous chronic hepatitis C.
Chronic hepatitis C is hard to cure, and it can cause life threatening complications. Most of the patients with hepatitis C can't be cured, and their condition gets worse and worse as time passes. Chronic hepatitis C treatment can't cure it, it can only make it progress slower and reduce the pain and damage that it does to the liver.
So the best thing to do is to stay away from the hepatitis C virus. You should learn how hepatitis C is transmitted from one person to another and try to avoid getting infected with it. Knowing the symptoms well so you can consult a doctor as soon as you see any of them appear is also a good thing to do.
Hepatitis C can easily be transmitted by blood to blood contact. Most people get it by sharing the same needle in injections, but because you also get HIV this way, doctors try to prevent this as much as possible, so the number of infections caused by needle sharing is decreasing. Those who inject themselves drugs and use the same syringe on many people are at an enormous risk of getting hepatitis C, HIV, and many other infections. Hepatitis C transmission happens a lot among drug users and in prisons.
A large number of people get hepatitis C from tattooing. The needle used when doing a tattoo can pierce through the skin and cause a small bleeding incision. The same needle is then used on the next customer, and if one of the clients has hepatitis C and gets stung by the tattoo needle, anyone else who will get stung will get it.
The third cause of hepatitis C infections is sex. Many engage in unprotected sexual encounters with strangers, and if your partner has hepatitis C then you will get infected with it too. Although mass media is trying to promote the use of condoms and people are told what the risks of not using them are, still many realize that they have been infected after a sexual encounter with a stranger.
Other methods of hepatitis C transmission can be sharing the same razor when shaving, or brushing teeth with the same toothbrush. Toothbrushes can cause the gums to bleed, and so blood is shared.
Try to remember these basic facts about hepatitis C transmission, and you will be able to avoid getting infected with it. Also remember that chronic hepatitis C can only be totally cured in few cases before doing something foolish.
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