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Can You Get Hepatitis C? - The Symptoms, The Possible Ways & The Misconceptions

Updated on October 10, 2016

Most patients who get infected will typically surface no signs of symptoms, and they will not get themselves diagnosed until it finally damages the liver which then brings up symptoms that lead them to seek medication.

The virus transfers from one person to another through infected blood. Reusing needles, sharing of needles or IV drugs and blood transfusion are some of the factors that can lead to transmission of the virus from one individual to another. As mentioned, an infected person may not show some immediate signs, but the virus can stay in the liver for longer duration leading to liver inflammation.

While there is no real cure for hepatitis C, some patients don't need medical treatment and in fact will only be monitored for any changes that might affect the liver. However, this is to not say there aren't severe cases - because there are, and if HVC is left untreated-- it can can trigger cirrhosis to occur in the liver possibly leading to liver failure.

Symptoms

Can you get Hepatitis C virus? What are the different ways? Before we jump into that, let us look at some of the symptoms of HVC. As you've already learned, people infected do not experience any symptoms during the initial stages. However, there are certain mild and nonspecific symptoms worth noting.

1. Loss of Appetite
2. Abdominal Pain
3. Jaundice
4. Fatigue
5. Joint Pain
6. Sore Muscles

All the symptoms listed above are quite identical to that of flu, and are some of the most observed symptoms in the initial stages. There are also other minor symptoms such as disturbances in sleep, slight fever, mood swings, muscle aches, headache, and cognitive changes in addition.

Since the hepatitis C infection can cause damage to your liver, here are some of the symptoms you may have:

1. Swelling of legs, feet and your belly.
2. Bleeding from veins in the digestive tract, also called variceal bleeding.
3. Expansion of small blood vessels which leads to redness on the palms of the hands.
4. Encephalopathy - a condition that causes damage to the nervous system and brain. This damage can further cause symptoms such as loss in memory, confusion etc.

5. Shrinking of muscles.

Possible ways of getting Hepatitis C

Can you get hepatitis C? What are the many ways through which you can get HVC? There are many ways Hepatitis C can be transmitted.

• Blood to Blood Contact - The most common way Hepatitis C can be transmitted is by blood to blood contact. Most individuals get it by sharing the same needle in injections, but since you also get HIV through this way, doctors nowadays try to restrict the multiple use of needles as much as possible. Hence, the number of infections caused by sharing needle is decreasing.

Can you get Hepatitis C by blood to blood contact? You are at an enormous risk of hepatitis C and other infections if you are among the people who inject themselves with drugs and use the exact same syringe that is already used by many people. The transmission of virus happens a lot more in the prisons and among drug users.

• Tattooing - A very large number of people get hepatitis C from tattooing. When doing a tattoo, the needle used could easily pierce through the skin and cause a small bleeding incision. The same needle could be used on the next customer, and if one of the clients happen to have hepatitis C and gets stung by the needle, anyone else who will thereafter get stung by the same needle will get it.

Can you get Hepatitis C from tattooing? Yes, but the chances are slim. However, you would rather want to be safe than sorry.

• Sexual Intercourse - The 3rd cause of hepatitis C is sex. A lot of people engage in unprotected sex with random strangers, and if the partner you are with has the virus then you surely will get infected with it as well. The media nowadays is trying to promote the use of condoms and people are informed the risk of never using them are, still it doesn't eliminate the risk completely and many realize they have been in fact infected after a sexual encounter with a random person.

Can you get hepatitis C by unprotected sexual intercourse? Yes, and the chance is rather is high. If you have encountered with a stranger, then the possibility of you infected is definitely not slim.

• Sharing Razors - One of the possible transmission routes for HVC is by sharing a razor, as are sharing toothbrushes, even acupuncture. However, these are not necessarily the most common ways of getting infected.

Can you get hepatitis C from sharing razors, toothbrush etc? The answer is unlikely. Theoretically speaking, it is a possibility although not exactly common.

Misconceptions about HVC

Can you get hepatitis C through genetics? No. HVC is not a genetic disease. It could only be caught from the members of the family if an infected members transits the virus. You might be surprised, but even a small amount of blood can cause the infection.

Can you get hepatitis C through casual contact? No, it cannot be spread through kissing, coughing or shaking hands. If you are living with a person with this virus, then you should not share razors, nail clippers or toothbrushes. These items have trance amounts of blood on them. But can you get HVC through sex? As previously stated - yes, but the chance of being exposed to HVC through sexual intercourse is low, because primarily HVC is caused by blood to blood contact. However, this doesn't completely nullify it.

Can you get hepatitis C that further affects other parts of the body? The answer is yes. HVC exists to attack body parts more than just liver. Some people with the virus develop rheumatic diseases, conditions that affect joints and muscles. At times, the treatment obtain to treat HVC can make things a lot worse.

Conclusion

Above are all the causes can you get hepatitis C through, and the misconceptions you should avoid. Diagnosis of this virus is quite hard as it doesn't show specific symptoms during acute stage. Certain blood test are useful in detection of this infection. Liver test is also one of the prescriptions to ascertain the extend of this infection.

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