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Hepatitis C Prevention and Management Checklist

Jul 2, 2008
Infectious diseases have always been afflicting humankind since, well, humans existed. These infectious organisms are not always winning the battle.

All of them have one thing in common - not all their victims succumb to their morbid or lethal effects. In fact humans always strive to eliminate these insidious agents and we have actually been successful in eradicating smallpox from the face of the Earth.

Our next target is the stamping out of polio. Both these diseases are caused by viruses and only with the aid of vaccines can we eliminate these agents.

A disease can only be eliminated with vaccines if the infecting agent circulates among humans exclusively. If it is infects other animals it is impossible to vaccinate these animals therefore we can never attain eradication.

Unfortunately, hepatitis C is not an infectious disease for which a vaccine is available, yet. This means that we will have to learn how to live with hepatitis C without yielding to it.

Hepatitis C is considered a lifestyle disease so we can prevent being infected by practicing a safe lifestyle. What do we need to take heed of to prevent being infected? Here is a list of points to be conscious of while going about our daily chores to prevent from being infected ourselves:

- Use screened blood if transfusion is needed
- Wear rubber gloves is you are a health care provider and get trained on how to handle hepatitis C patients
- Do not share instruments e.g., syringes, toothbrush and razor blade
- Take precautions against contact with someone else's blood
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. Being infected with either or both of these other hepatitis diseases will increase the chances of hepatitis C infection.

What about if you already have hepatitis C and do not want to infect others? Here are some things that a hepatitis C patient should practice.
- Modify your diet. Some food types are unsuitable as they tax the liver excessively
- Abstain from alcohol
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid anal sex or any sexual acts that could cause exchange of blood
- Avoid multiple sexual partners
- Avoid body piercing, tattooing and acupuncture so as to prevent further transmission
- Discuss with your dentist your situation before your appointment

Can hepatitis c be sured or is it a curse for life? The good news is that with recent advances in research a cure has been discovered. However these treatment regimens and cure is limited only to serotype 1, which is the most common. Serotype 2 and 3 patients unfortunately have no recourse to curative medication yet.

There is a seventy percent probability that hepatitis C patients can be cured with the use of a cocktail of drugs. It involves a weekly injection and a twice-a-day regime of tablets for between 24 to 48 weeks. This combination therapy is not recommended for the following groups of people:
- Those with depression
- Alcoholics
- Pregnant women
- Untreated thyroid diseases
- Those with kidney and heart conditions

Although such treatment exist to cure hepatitis C sufferers, it is often a herculean task tolerating the drugs. Many patients undergo even depression as a result of the treatment.
About the Author
James T Pereira provides more information on hepatitis C including signs, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, myths and facts, treatment options and prevention techniques at http://www.hepatitisc.jamestpereira.com
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