It is one of the viruses that causes inflammation of the Liver and is rampant in our population. It can remain
silent for long and may not show any signs or symptoms, hence, the importance of screening of high risk populations.
Chronic infection can lead to Cirrhosis (scarring of the Liver), Liver Failure, and Liver Cancer. There has been a
great advancement in the treatment of Hepatitis C as previously it was treated with injections that carried a list
of adverse effects. In contrary, now we have safe and effective oral medicines that can cure the infection.
Like Hepatitis B, it can be silent without any symptoms. The symptoms usually occur in chronically infected
patients where the Liver has been silently damaged by the virus. They include:
No vaccine is available for prevention of Hepatitis C, hence, the best way to prevent Hepatitis C is to avoid the
risk factors responsible for the spread of the infection. Education for the patients and general public regarding
the risk factors and prevention practices such as personal shaving kits, safe & proper injection use, avoiding
injectable drug abuse, proper handling and discard of the sharps is an important tool to break the cycle of
Getting tested for Hepatitis C in the presence of risk factors and early treatment can prevent long term and serious
A specific set of blood test is needed for diagnosis of Hepatitis C. Further tests may be needed to assess the
extent of Liver damage. These include Ultrasound abdomen and other tests as recommended by the Doctor.
Effective and safe oral drugs are available that can completely eradicate Hepatitis C virus. These drugs are
usually once a day pill taken for 3-6 months. Every positive case requires treatment. People with Chronic Liver
Damage due to Hepatitis C are managed with medications and may require Liver Transplant and need to follow up
regularly with their doctor.
There is no vaccination for Hepatitis C, however, you should get yourself vaccinated for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis