Is there persistent stomach pain? Do you feel like throwing up or are often nauseated? Are you suffering from jaundice? It is then the right time to consult the doctor as it can be Hepatitis C. This condition can rob your peace of mind. Hence, it is essential to prevent this condition by adopting various measures. Primarily, Hepatitis C is present in the blood, and to a lesser degree in specific other body fluids, of an infected person. Dr Roy Patankar (Director and Gastroenterologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital) says that "this infection can severely damage your liver, and one can suffer from liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Many people may be suffering from this condition but may be unaware of it since the Hepatitis C virus is transmitted via blood. Exposure to even tiny amounts of blood is sufficient to infect you. Currently, there is no vaccine available to tackle it. Hence, your doctor will suggest a proper line of treatment for you that may involve antiviral drugs."
Dr Roy Patankar list out the symptoms of Hepatitis C
Suppose you notice symptoms such as jaundice, fever, fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, dark urine, joint, and stomach pain, and even vomiting. You must not delay once you spot these symptoms. Do appropriate tests suggested by your doctor, and you will surely be able to tackle this problem. To avoid any further issues owing to Hepatitis C, it is better to prevent this condition and stay healthy.
Dr Sudeep Khanna (Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist at Apollo Indraprastha Hospital), shares tips to help prevent contracting hepatitis C
- Never share needles: Intravenous drug users have the highest chance of getting infected with hepatitis C because of multiple users. Apart from needles, the virus can be present in other equipment used for illicit drugs. Even sharing a straw or rupee note when snorting drugs could transmit hepatitis C. Bleeding in the nose repeatedly happens when microscopic droplets may enter the straw and be passed on to the next user although it can't be seen.
- Don't share personal care items: Many items that people use daily will occasionally be exposed to blood. It is important not to share things such as toothbrushes, razors, nail and hair clippers, and scissors as even small amounts of blood can infect someone. If you already have hepatitis C, make sure to keep the personal items, such as razors and toothbrushes, separate and out of children’s reach.
- Don’t expose yourself to blood or blood products: It is not at all safe to do so. If you are a healthcare worker by profession, you will have to immediately take charge of your health. You must not come in contact with direct blood. In case you happen to come in contact with blood, then sterilize the instrument to prevent infection.
- Choose tattoo and piercing parlours judiciously: Only use a licensed tattoo and piercing artist who follow the correct sanitary procedures. A new, disposable needle and ink should be used for every customer. If in doubt, ask to show the disposable products and hygienic practices before getting a tattoo or piercing.
- The need of the hour to practise safe sex: Though, the occurrence of Hepatitis C through sexual intercourse is rare. Those with HIV or having sexually transmitted diseases can be at a greater risk of suffering from Hepatitis C.
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