How Is Hepatitis C Transmitted?
Hepatitis C is the virus affecting the way the liver works. When people have it, they start experiencing an acute infection, which is a mild condition. However, most cases of hepatitis C are diagnosed and found only when it becomes chronic, so that patients may have this condition for the rest of their lives. That’s why it’s important to know how this virus is transmitted and avoid possible risk factors.
How This Virus Is Transmitted
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus, and this means that people must be in contact with the infected blood to get infected. The most widespread ways of transmitting it include the following:
- Reusing and using any medical equipment, such as needles and syringes, which aren’t sterilized properly;
- Receiving blood transfusion from any blood products that aren’t screened adequately;
- Injecting drugs through infected needles.
List of Less Common Ways of Transmitting Hepatitis C
There are less common methods of transmitting this virus, such as:
- Passing it from mothers to babies;
- Having sex with infected partners;
- People who work with needles or who are exposed to the dirty ones are at a higher risk of being infected;
- Using different personal care items, including razors and toothbrushes, if they are in contact with the blood of infected people.
Unfortunately, many patients (especially with a chronic condition) don’t experience any symptoms until they end up in severe liver damage. That’s why people need to know how this virus is transmitted and avoid contracting and spreading it. How long does a virus last? Hepatitis C can live outside the body for some time. If the infected blood ends up on any surface, this virus can stay viable for about 3 weeks.
Possible Risk Factors
These groups of people can be at a higher risk of contracting hepatitis C:
- With sexual partners who have this disease;
- Patients with HIV;
- Injecting drugs;
- After receiving infected blood products;
- Healthcare workers who may become accidentally infected by needles;
- With piercings and tattoos.
How to Prevent Hepatitis C transmission
Unfortunately, there’s no vaccine for this virus, and its prevention is focused on having protected sex, handling needles safely, and refraining from intravenous drug intake.