ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Causes Hepatitis C (HCV)?

Updated on January 25, 2012

What Is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis is a medical term meaning inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus identified as the hepatitis C virus. HCV is the abbreviation used to refer to this liver disease.

Two other forms of liver inflammation caused by viruses are hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Hepatitis is the most common cause of liver cancer and the leading cause of the need for liver transplantation. HCV is also the leading cause of cirrhosis and chronic liver disease.

Hepatitis C is transmitted primarily by contact with contaminated blood but also sometimes through bodily fluids. The majority of cases were contracted through the use of contaminated needles in illegal drug use, blood transfusions or organ transplants prior to 1992, childbirth, occupational exposure, hemodialysis, intranasal cocaine use and sexual contact explains the "International Journal of Medical Sciences.


How to "Catch" Hepatitis C

Prevalence of Hepatitis C

Although exact numbers are not known due to factors such as some countries do not have the means to test their population for the presence of HCV and the fact that many people with HCV are asymptomatic, the known prevalence of hepatitis C is eye-opening.

Three to five million people in the United States alone have the disease; worldwide the number of people with HCV is thought to be between 170 to 200 million. This represents 3 percent of the world's population.

Of those people infected with HCV, 75 to 85 percent are likely to develop chronic HCV, making them likely to develop hepatic cancer, cirrhosis and manifestation of symptoms/problems in other parts of the body. Ten percent to 15 percent of HCV-infected people will develop cirrhosis of the liver within the first 20 years of contracting the virus.

The infection rate for hepatitis C throughout the world rivals that of HIV.

New Hepatitis C Treatment in 2011

History of Hepatitis C

The virus that causes HCV was not isolated by scientists until 1989. Before that discovery, people who were infected with this organism were diagnosed to have Non-A, Non_B hepatitis. The virus causing HCV is adept at mutating; 6 separate clades of HCV exist with more than 100 subtypes identified, according to a report on the epidemiology of hepatitis C from Brown University.

What Is Hepatitis C?

Chronic Hepatitis C

Fifteen to 25 percent of people who contract the disease will experience only an acute version of hepatitis C, meaning that the body will be able to successfully fight the causative virus within 6 months. The remaining 75 to 85 percent of people contracting HCV will develop chronic hepatits C. It is for these people that the progression of the liver inflammation may lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and other physical problems.

In studies done in various setting and countries, the results have demonstrated that people 25 years or younger who contract HCV have the greatest chance of being able to eradicate the disease in its acute stage. With the information currently available, men are more likely to develop chronic hepatitis C than women and African Americans are more likely to move into the chronic disease state than are Caucasians.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)