ALL ABOUT HEPATITIS - Hepatitis C

Prevention

Avoid risk behaviors and follow universal precautions. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but there are vaccines for hepatitis A and B. Eighty-five to ninety percent of all HCV carriers will have it for life, or until a cure is found. All carriers of HCV can transmit the disease to others via blood.

People who have hepatitis C should remain aware that their blood and possibly other body fluids are potentially infective, even when the person carrying the virus is asymptomatic.

  • Care should be taken to avoid blood exposure to others by not sharing toothbrushes, razors, needles, or other personal care articles that might have blood on them.
  • Make sure that any other items used for tattooing, body piercing and/or acupuncture are properly
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    sterilized. Most current practitioners use disposable needles.
  • All cuts and wounds should be covered, and blood spills should be cleaned up with bleach.
  • Infected people must not donate blood, plasma or sperm, and should inform their dental or medical health providers so that proper precautions can be followed.
  • Sexual transmission appears to be low. However, it is recommended that people with multiple sexual partners practice safer sex.

Pregnancy and Breast Feeding

Pregnant women have no greater risk of being infected with HCV then non-pregnant women. If pregnant women have risk factors for hepatitis C, they should be tested for anti-HCV.

About 5 out of every 100 infants born to HCV infected women become infected. This occurs at the time of birth, and there is no treatment that can prevent this from happening. Most infants infected with HCV at the time of birth have no symptoms and do well during childhood. More studies are needed to find out if these children will have problems from the infection as they grow older.

There is no evidence that breast-feeding spreads HCV. HCV-positive mothers should consider abstaining from breast-feeding if their nipples are cracked or bleeding.

Children should not be tested for anti-HCV before 12 months of age as anti-HCV from the mother may last until this age.


    All information provided in this site is offered for educational purposes only, and it is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your own physician or healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

     

    We Expect This Section Will Be Completed by Jan. 1