hepatitis%20c
HEPATITIS C

Hepatitis C can be transmitted through blood transfusions, organ transplants, percutaneous (especially IV drug use), sexual or perinatal route.

It has an incubation period of 14-180 days.

Goal of treatment is to prevent progression to chronic hepatitis C through antiviral treatment of acute hepatitis C. Also, it aims to prevent occurrence of liver-related complications through antiviral treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

Prevention

Primary Prevention

  • At present, there is no available vaccine for HCV
  • The prevention of HCV would depend on the reduction of the risk of exposure especially in patients in healthcare setting and those who are in a high-risk population (eg IV drug use and through sexual contact)
  • Recommended primary intervention:
    • Hand hygiene should include proper surgical hand preparation, hand washing and use of gloves
    • Appropriate and safe use of injection
    • Proper handling and disposal of sharp needles and other objects and waste
    • Comprehensive harm-reduction services should be provided to IV drug users including the use of sterile injecting equipments
    • Sterilization of equipments
    • All healthcare personnel should be trained
    • Donated blood should be tested for HBV, HCV, HIV and syphilis
    • Proper and consistent use of condoms should be promoted

Secondary and Tertiary Prevention

  • Recommendations for people who are infected with HCV:
    • Conduct an education and counseling program for patient care and treatment
    • Immunization with hepatitis A and B vaccines are recommended to prevent coinfection and provide protection to the liver
    • Early and appropriate use of antiviral therapy
    • Regular monitoring is the key to early diagnosis of chronic liver disease
      • Continue hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance in patients with advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis as an SVR will only reduce but not remove the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma
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