Hepatitis Term Paper

Pages: 3 (950 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Disease


Hepatitis C is a potentially fatal liver disease transmitted by a bloodborne virus. In fact, Hepatitis C is " the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States," with more than three million exhibiting a chronic infection (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). All hepatitis diseases refer to the inflammation of the liver, and are caused by viral infections. Hepatitis a, B, and C. are the most common of the hepatitis diseases, but other rarer forms D. And E. do exist. The Hepatitis C virus, abbreviated as HCV, is "among the most serious" of the hepatitis family of diseases because of its deleterious effect on the liver (Mayo Clinic).

Whereas Hepatitis a can be transmitted through contaminated food and drink, Hepatitis C is transmitted almost exclusively via bodily fluid. Sharing intravenous needles, coming into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected individual, and being born to a mother with Hepatitis C are all possible methods of disease transmission. Blood is the most certain method of transmission; sexual transmission is less likely because " HCV is not efficiently transmitted sexually," (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Similarly, incidental or occupational exposure to infected blood or bodily fluid is an ineffective means of transmitting the virus. The most likely method of contracting the HCV is via "large or repeated percutaneous exposure to infected blood," such as "transfusion of blood from unscreened donors or through use of injecting drugs," (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Hepatitis C Assignment

Remarkably, "most people don't know they have the hepatitis C infection until liver damage shows up, decades later, during routine medical tests," (Mayo Clinic). This makes it easier to spread the disease, as an infected person remains unaware that they carry the HCV. Although the symptoms of Hepatitis C can remain dormant for more than ten years, a simple blood test can predict its presence in an individual with risk factors. Left untreated, Hepatitis C can lead to serious complications including liver cancer, scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), and liver failure requiring a transplant. Methods of prevention include reducing risk factors, as no vaccine for Hepatitis C exists.

Some individuals do manifest mild symptoms prior to the onset of liver damage, including fatigue, nausea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, or fevers. Because many of these symptoms are vague and could be attributed to the flu and other common infections, a diagnosis of Hepatitis C may still not be made until more overt symptoms of liver damage are noted. For example, jaundice is one of the symptoms of liver distress. The yellowing of eyes and skin is an indicator that one of the hepatitis viruses has infected the individual's body.

Once infected, an individual may "clear the virus from their bodies in a few months," (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)). About 15% of individuals naturally clear the virus in this… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Hepatitis.  (2010, June 17).  Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hepatitis-c/61041

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"Hepatitis."  17 June 2010.  Web.  27 September 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hepatitis-c/61041>.

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"Hepatitis."  Essaytown.com.  June 17, 2010.  Accessed September 27, 2021.