HEPATITIS symptoms can be difficult to spot, and signs may develop as the virus infection damages the liver. These are the warning symptoms of hepatitis C to watch out for, after Public Health England urged people to get checked, as treatment can cure the infection.
Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect the liver, and affects around 215,000 people in the UK, according to the NHS. The virus, which is spread by blood-to-blood contact, is potentially life-threatening and can damage the liver over a number of years.
Home Remedy for Fatty Liver and Hepatitis
Thousands of people living with hepatitis C could have new treatments to help cure the infection, said Public Health England (PHE). Almost 25,000 people have received treatment over the past three years for hepatitis C, with 95 percent of cases cured, it said.
Although many people have been cured of hepatitis C, the number of UK cases remains steady. People that think they may be at risk of hepatitis C, and even those that may have been diagnosed in the past, should speak to a GP.
A number of people may be living with the infection and aren’t aware of it, so it’s best to make yourself known if you could be at risk. People most at risk of hepatitis C are those that have injected drugs, even once or in the past.
Around one in four people that have injected drugs in England are believed to be at risk. But it could also affect people that have come into contact with the blood of someone infected, or even people that had a blood transfusion before 1991.
“Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact and it only takes a very small amount of blood for the virus to be transmitted,” said Dr. Helen Harris, Clinical Scientist at PHE. She told Express.co.uk: “In the UK, most new infections are transmitted when injecting drugs through shared equipment.
“Hepatitis C can also be transmitted through open cuts, wounds or scratches, sexual transmission, from infected mothers to their babies, or when tattoos are done with unsterilized equipment.” You should also speak to a GP if you have any tell-tale signs of the virus, said PHE.
Hepatitis C symptoms include flu-like signs – such as muscle aches and a high fever – and tummy aches. “Symptoms that do occur can be mistaken for other conditions, and include: tiredness, loss of appetite, and tummy pain,” said Harris.
“It is therefore a good idea to first think about whether you could have come into contact with the virus.” As the infection progresses, it can cause some more serious symptoms, including problems with short-term memory and mood swings.
You could lower your risk of hepatitis C by not sharing injecting equipment, or items like razors or toothbrushes, which can be contaminated with the virus. It’s crucial that the infection is diagnosed early because it raises the risk of some deadly complications.
In the most severe cases, it can lead to liver failure or even liver cancer. These complications can develop up to 20 years or more after you first became infected. express co uk