HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV)

This is also a blood-borne infection. It usually takes 8 weeks for liver function abnormalities to occur following exposure to the virus.

It causes a long- standing (chronic) infection, and can in turn cause hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).

Transmission:

  • Transfusion of unscreened blood
  • Sharing of needles by intravenous drug users
  • Organ transplantation
  • Use of unsterilized needles for dental procedures, tattooing.

Prevention:

  • Proper screening of blood donors
  • Use new needles each time, rather than repeating the use of one
  • Do not share needles with anyone
  • Proper sterilization of instruments prior to use

NO VACCINE IS AVAILABLE YET FOR HEPATITIS C, therefore adequate preventive measures should be taken.

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