Hepatitis C – All you need to know

Hepatitis is a global disease. Figures from epidemiological studies from different regions of the world show wide variance in Hepatitis C prevalence pattern. Over 200 million people are infected with Hepatitis C throughout the world. Prevalence in India is 1.5% of the total population.

Hepatitis C is transmitted mainly by the blood borne route. Most common modes of transmission are blood transfusion, infected needles in intravenous drug abusers, children born to a Hepatitis C positive mother, and tattooing, pedicure and manicure at nail salons who advocate poor sanitary practices.

Untreated Hepatitis C infection will ultimately lead to end stage Liver Disease culminating in Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer, which has high mortality rates.

Rate of getting infected with Hepatitis C after a prick injury is as high as 1.8%. Hepatitis C Virus survives outside the human body for as long as 16 hours. It is possible to get Hepatitis C through inanimate objects that have been in contact with the infected blood e.g. razors, needles, nail cutters, toothbrushes etc., which are used at nail salons and tattoo centers. Hence it advisable to not to get tattoos, pedicure or manicure in an unregulated set up, as it may lead to Hepatitis C. It is best to get these done at certified salons who sterilize the tools in a hygienic and scientific manner before using them.

Dr. Nikhil Bondade M.D. D.M

Consultant Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist

Narayana Health City, Bangalore

 

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