Are you experiencing jaundice, fatigue, dark urine, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and nausea? If you experience all these, you can be suffering from hepatitis C, a disease of the liver, which is caused by the hepatitis C virus or HCV. This disease is transmitted when the blood from an infected person enters the body of an uninfected person. It can be spread through sharing needles. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby during birth. The long-term effects of this disease include chronic infection, chronic liver disease, and death.
Unlike other diseases, hepatitis C has no vaccine, but there are blood tests that are available to check for this disease, especially if you were notified that you received blood from an infected donor or if you have ever injected illegal drugs. You should also contact your medical provider for a blood test if you have ever been on long-term kidney dialysis or if you have evidence of liver disease.
The blood tests that will be conducted are anti-HCV, qualitative tests to detect presence or absence of virus, and quantitative tests to detect amount of virus. These tests can determine if you have been infected with HCV. Your doctor can recommend you to undergo one or a combination of these tests.
Since there is no vaccine to hepatitis C, prevention is one of the best things that a person can do to avoid the risk factors. You should never shoot drugs, or if you can not stop, at least never share needles. Also do not share personal care items that might have blood on them, like razors. If you are thinking about getting a tattoo or ear piercing, you might as well think twice because there is risk of getting infected if the tools have someone else's blood on them. Keep all these preventive measures in mind because prevention is always better than the non-existent cure.