How Do I Identify Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C symptoms are “silent” in 4 out of every 5 people who have been infected with the hepatitis C virus. In other words, four out of five individuals who have hepatitis C don’t know it. Among the 20 percent who have hepatitis C symptoms, the severity ranges from slight to serious.

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HealthScouter Hepatitis: Hepatitis Treatment and Hepatitis Symptoms: Includes Hepatitis C Symptoms and Hepatitis B Symptoms

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HealthScouter Hepatitis: Hepatitis Treatment and Hepatitis Symptoms: Includes Hepatitis C Symptoms and Hepatitis B Symptoms

An unusual sense of fatigue is the most prominent of hepatitis C symptoms. But there are others, and they may show up in groups which would include one or more of the following.

* pain in the abdomen

* stools from bowel movements will look lighter, possibly with more of a clay color

* urine is likely to become darker, looking more like a coffee color

* general itching is common

* the infected person will suffer more headaches than usual

* jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes

* many people who have hepatitis C experience a loss of appetite

* aching muscles are typical

* many individuals who experience hepatitis C symptoms will suffer nausea

* a person with hepatitis C may go through vomiting spells

The hepatitis C virus is the cause of hepatitis C. This virus is also commonly known by the abbreviation HCV. The hepatitis C virus is usually transmitted through an exchange of blood. Hepatitis C is not usually transmitted through sexual contact. The most common mode of transmitting the hepatitis C virus in the United States is needle sharing by injection drug users.

Chronic hepatitis C develops in about two thirds of all cases of acute infection.

It’s believed that about 170 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. That’s about 3 percent. Hepatitis C rates are as high as 15 percent in some countries in Africa and Asia. Egypt is believed to have the highest infection rate in the world, exceeding 15 percent.

If you want to make sure you don’t get hepatitis C, all you need to do is follow some common sense guidelines. Just remember that hepatitis C is transmitted through the blood. If there is no exchange of blood, there will be no hepatitis C infection. If you use illegal drugs intravenously, make sure you use a clean needle – not one that has been used by someone else before. Make sure you don’t use the same grooming or hygiene items, like toohtbrushes or razors, as someone who may be infected with hepatitis C.

If you decide to have any type of body piercing done, make sure all instruments being used are sterilized. The same goes for tattoos. Similarly, make sure anyone handling instruments washes their hands, wears latex gloves, and disinfects surfaces in the area.

If you have acupuncture done, make sure the needles are properly sterilized.

The risk of becoming infected with hepatitis C is generally low for travelers. The biggest danger occurs if you need a blood transfusion. Blood screening standards in some countries are not as high as they are in others. It bears repeating that anyone traveling overseas who wishes to get a tattoo (as is often done by military personnel) or have body parts pierced, should do so with the greatest regard for sterile practices.

No vaccine currently exists that can prevent a hepatitis C infection once the virus has been transmitted to you. There is a medicine that works as a hepatitis A vaccine (immune globulin). But it doesn’t work for hepatitis C.

Chronic hepatitis C is the number one cause of liver transplants in the U.S.

If you think you have been exposed to the virus, you should seek medical advice and have hepatitis C testing done, even if no hepatitis C symptoms have appeared.

Learn more by clicking on hepatitis C symptoms and signs and liver disease. Neal Kennedy is a retired radio and TV journalist. To read more of his articles, click on You And Your Liver.

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