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Current and Future Medications for Hepatitis C (cont.)

What Are the Risks of Hepatitis C?

  • HCV infection is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease in the United States, and is the most common cause of chronic viral hepatitis.
  • HCV infection is believed to cause about 15% to 20% of all cases of acute (new, short-term) viral hepatitis and half of all cases of cirrhosis (end-stage liver disease), and liver cancer.
  • HCV infection is the leading reason for liver transplantation in the United States

Who is at Risk of Acquiring Hepatitis C

Your risk of hepatitis C infection is increased if a person is:

  • A health care worker who draws blood or are exposed to infected blood (Newer syringes have self-capping needle systems that avoid the need to manually replace a cap after drawing blood, and they have tremendously reduced the risk of accidental needle-sticks.)
  • An illicit drug user who shares needles
  • Infected with HIV
  • Found to have abnormal levels of liver enzymes in your blood
  • A child of a mother with existing HCV
  • Getting manicures, piercing or tattoo in unsanitary environments using unsterile equipment
  • A recipient of a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • A recipient of clotting factor concentrates before 1987
  • Undergoing hemodialysis treatments for extended periods of time
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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Hepatitis C »

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 170 million individuals worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV).

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