A recent study showed that 65% of veterans using a San Francisco Veterans Administration facility tested positive for Hepatitis C. This is in contrast to 2% of the population at large. There should be more questions asked about how the veterans contracted Hepatitis C at thirty times the rate of the general population and what the veterans administration is going to do to help. It is estimated that as many as 4 to 5 million Americans are infected with Hepatitis C. The death rate due to complications from Hepatitis C is expected to quadruple in the next 10 years.
|Former surgeon general Everett Koop, MD. has called Hepatitis C an epidemic because most people infected by Hepatitis C do not notice any symptoms until serious liver damage starts 20 years or so later. Testing can detect the infection and lead to early treatment. Hepatitis C Awareness will supply you with knowledge to combat Hepatitis C. ~ Enter the Site
According to Centers for Disease Control, hepatitis C virus is spread by exposure to blood, either through the skin or by injection:
* Injection drug use (currently the most common means of HCV transmission in the United States)
* Receipt of donated blood, blood products, and organs (prior to 1992 when blood screening became the norm)
* Needle stick injuries in healthcare settings
* Birth to an HCV-infected mother
HCV can also be spread infrequently through
* Sharing personal items contaminated with infectious blood, such as razors or toothbrushes
(an inefficient vectors of transmission)
* Other healthcare procedures that involve invasive procedures, such as injections
(usually recognized in the context of outbreaks)
* Sharing drug products via insufflation
Strategies such as the provision of new needles and syringes, and education about safer drug injection procedures,
greatly decrease the risk of hepatitis C spreading between injecting drug users.
No vaccine protects against contracting hepatitis C, or helps to treat it.
Vaccines are under development.