The diseases in our surroundings can be more dangerous if we are unaware of their sources. Moreover, it is also important to know how they spread around. Being in the dark about the disease only takes us closer to being affected by it rather than preventing it. The same goes for all the viral infections, including Hepatitis C.
How Is It Spread?
The major source of the spread of the hepatitis C infection is through blood. When the blood of an infected person somehow gets into the bloodstream of a healthy person, the virus starts affecting the other individual as well. Some of the other means of virus transfer include improper use of unsterilized syringes primarily related to drug activities during injecting of drugs. According to sources, before the year 1992, when there was no proper provision for the screening of blood of healthy individuals and differentiating them from others, it was also a major source of concern.
Some of the common ways a person can get Hepatitis C are:
However, Hepatitis C has also been seen to spread via:
Does Hepatitis C Spread Via Sexual Contact?
Though the risk is low, yes Hepatitis C does sometimes spread through sexual encounters. Mainly if a person is engaged in protected sex or has sex with a single partner only then the risk of him getting infected is entirely negligible. But someone is involved in unprotected rough sex with multiple partners, and if any one of the partners is infected with a sexually transmitted disease or HIV, the risk increases exponentially; though more research has been going on to precisely understand the nature of its spread through sexual contact.
A Tattoo Or Piercing?
A simple tattoo or piercing done with unsterilized and with poor infection-control methods can lead to a Hepatitis C infection. However, studies conducted have shown Hepatitis C not being spread through licensed and commercial tattooing facilities. With body arts and tattoos becoming popular, measures should be taken to prevent the spread of this virus.
Can A Family Member Get Hepatitis C Within The Household?
Though Hepatitis C is not a skin- spread contagious disease. Still, it might spread in a household as a result of any direct or indirect contact of exposed skin with the infected person. Sometimes exposure to the blood spills or cuts and wounds also do the trick for the virus to spread and find a new host within the same household.
How Should The Blood Spills Be Cleaned From The Surface?
The hepatitis C virus can survive outside the boy for up to 3 weeks on environmental surfaces at room temperatures. So every blood spill, though it might be a dried one is considered infectious and should be cleaned with one part household bleach with ten parts of water with proper caution and wearing gloves to avoid any physical contact with the infected sample.
Can A Pregnant Woman Pass Hepatitis C To Her Baby?
Though the chances are meager and the case is rare, it has been seen in about 6 out of every 100 cases of a newborn infected with the virus. But if the mother has both an HIV and a Hepatitis C infection, the risk level goes up, and there is a higher chance of the child being affected by the disease.
Hepatitis C Isn’t Spread By
- Sharing eating utensils
- Breastfeeding by a mother
- Hugging and kissing
- Holding or shaking hands
- Coughing or sneezing
- Mosquito or insect bites
People At Risk For Hepatitis C
- Current and regular injection drug users (most common)
- Past injection drug users though they might have done only once
- Recipient of donated blood, blood products or organs before 1992
- Hemodialysis patients or people who spent many years on dialysis for kidney failure
- People having done piercing or tattoos with unsterilized instruments
- HIV infected persons
- Children born to mother infected with hepatitis C virus
- Unprotected sexual contact with an infected person20
- Sharing razors and toothbrushes with infected person
- Health care workers with known exposure to the virus
Hence Hepatitis C is not a virus that spreads easily but keeping in mind the preventive measures can help you against getting infected with this unwanted disease.