Hepatitis C is a liver inflammation caused by the HCV virus. A person can contract hepatitis C if they come into contact with infected blood. The disease can be chronic, which means the patient has it for a long time, and it can be acute. This phase doesn’t last long, but can lead to the chronic form of the disease. Thanks to recent technology, treatments are simple and effective.
Risk Factors and Treatment
Previously, a person who was diagnosed with hepatitis C had to take a shot every week on top of medications they took by mouth. This was not feasible for some patients because they had comorbidities or the side effects of the drugs were too intense or dangerous. However, HCV can now be cured simply by the patient taking a two to six month course of oral medications.
The one problem with hepatitis C is that it is often asymptomatic. Despite this, it can still damage the liver. Medical professionals recommend that everyone who is at high risk for the disease be screened for it, especially if they were born between 1945 and 1965. These include people in the healthcare industry who have been exposed to contaminated blood. Other people at high risk are those who have used street drugs, received a tattoo or piercing done with unsterilized instruments, have HIV or had a blood transfusion before 1992.
Doctors prescribe antiviral drugs that kill the virus that causes hepatitis C. These drugs are often used with other, older drugs and are more likely to produce better results for the patients. This means that patients do not suffer as many side effects from their treatments and sometimes don’t need to stay on the drugs for a long time. Some people only have to take the drugs for two months. The treatment and its outcome depends on whether the patient’s liver has been damaged and if they have other medical problems.
Learn More about Hepatitis C
If you are worried that you have hepatitis C, schedule an appointment with us for an exam conducted by one of our gastroenterologists. If you have already been diagnosed, feel free to visit us at the office of Steven Batash, MD to learn more about the medication we offer. We are conveniently located in Rego Park, and our educated staff would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!