Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Hepatitis C : The Silent Epidemic Essay -- Health Medical Medicine Ess

Hepatitis C : The Silent Epidemic Introduction   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Did you know that over two hundred million people are infected with the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)? Unfortunately it is true, and twenty five thousand more are infected each year. Out of these victims, three are acquaintances of mine. They are why I chose to research this Silent Epidemic. In this paper you will not only learn about the virus itself, but also ways to recognize and prevent it. The goal of this is to prevent the further spread of this disease, and furthermore to make you aware of your options if infected. Statistics   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Hepatitis C affects approximately 1.8% of the population in the U.S. This accounts for nearly 4 million people. And this number is only growing. It has been estimated that twenty five to thirty five thousand new cases are diagnosed each year. What is the Hepatitis C Virus?   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  As you already know, the cells in the body respond to infection in many ways. One of these ways is inflammation. Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver. However, it does not affect the whole liver at once. The silent epidemic sneaks up slowly by causing damage to individual liver cells. This means, HCV progresses slowly over many years. How do you get Hepatitis C   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  There are many risk factors that may lead to the spread the Hepatitis C Virus. In many cases symptoms are not visible until ten or even twenty years after the infection. Since treatments are based on the degree of infection, it is important to find this virus as soon as possible. Are you at risk? Ask yourself the following questions to find out! 1.) Have you received a blood transfusion prior to 1992? 2.) Have you had any solid organ transplants, such as your heart, liver, or kidney? 3.) Are you on long-term kidney dialysis? 4.) Are you a member of the healthcare field, in which you have had exposure to blood? 5.) Have you ever used recreational drugs? (Needles? Cocaine Straws?) 6.) Have you ever had high risk sex? (Anal? Multiple Partners?) 7.) Do you have a tattoo or body piercing? 8.) Do you live with, or have regular contact with an infected person? If so, do you share nail clippers, razors, or toothbrushes?   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you are at a risk for having Hepatitis C. So now what can you do? Diagnosing Hepatitis C   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  If you feel you may have been exposed t... ... Ribavirin   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ribavirin is a pill which is used along with alpha-interferon. It has been proven that this pill helps the alpha-interferon to work better. Patients who choose to take this pill are prescribed several pills a day. These pills must be take everyday along with regular alpha-interferon injections to positively affect the body. Goals of treatment   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  There are two basic goals of HCV treatment. The first goal is to have a sustained virologic response. This means that the virus will remain at an undetectable in the blood for six or more months after treatment. The second goal is an improved histologic response. An example of this is the decrease of liver inflammation, and the reduction of scarring of the liver.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Conclusion   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Hepatitis C is a silent epidemic. There is no vaccination, and no cure. The only way to prevent the spread of this disease is to be aware of your surroundings, and practice a clean way of living. Although there is treatment for Hepatitis C, it is a painful disease in its later stages. If you feel you have been exposed, please, do not hesitate to have yourself tested. The Hepatitis C Virus is, and will remain, a threat to your life.

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