Hepatitis C is an infectious liver disease caused by Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), the disease progresses silently, but leaves heavy consequences. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 185 million people infected in the World with Hepatitis C virus, while 350,000 people die every year due to Hepatitis C.
Are you infected with Hepatitis C?
You can be infected with Hepatitis C when:
- People who had blood transfusions, received blood products, or organ donations before 1992.
- Contact with blood of an infected person (use of razors, scissors, toothbrushes, cotton tampons, bandages)
HCV can also be sexually transmitted and can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby; however these modes of transmission are less common.
The setting (inside or outside medical practice) where sterile instruments are not used, for e.g.: HCV can be spread in health care settings when injection equipment, such as needle, syringes, are shared between patients or when injectable medications or intravenous solutions are mishandled and become contaminated with blood.
- Shared needles or syringes
- Pricked with needles (for example, when a nurse injects drugs)
- Dental treatment using unsterile tools
- Tattooing, acupuncture, ear piercing
- Transmitted through sexual behavior where there is high risk of bleeding, intercourse at menstruation
- Mother to child transmission (more rarely Hepatitis B)
- Approximately in 20-40% of cases of Hepatitis C, source of infection is not known.
What are the Geno-types of Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is divided into six distinct Geno-types throughout the world with multiple sub-types in each Geno-type class. A Geno-type is a classification of a virus based on the genetic material in the RNA (Ribonucleic acid) strands of the virus.
Geno-type 1, 2 and 6 (Geno-type 6 is found more than 50%) are the most common types of Hepatitis C Geno-type in the Vietnam.
*According to Cao Minh Nga et. al. MUC