Hepatitis C – Essay Example
The paper "Hepatitis C" is a wonderful example of an essay on medical science.
Many viral diseases exist in the world today. Most of the diseases affect human. One of such viral diseases is hepatitis C.
The disease occurs due to human infection with the virus. The virus causing the development of the disease is hepatitis C virus (HCV) (World Health Organization (WHO), 2014). The disease attack liver and can be acute or chronic depending on the severity of the infection. The most common way through which ones are infected is through unsafe injections practices. These include inadequate sterilization of medical equipment in some of the health care institutions; and poor screening of blood and blood products (WHO, 2014).
The disease affects a significant number of people in the world. According to the World Health Organization about 130-150 million people in the world have chronic hepatitis C infection (WHO, 2014). The disease is more challenging to the chronically infected people. Such people have increased the risk of developing liver cirrhosis or liver cancer (WHO, 2014). It also causes a significant death in a year of about 350000 to 500000 (WHO, 2014).
The disease occurs in all corners of the world. However, there are the most affected parts. These include Central and East Asia and North Africa (WHO, 2014). The disease epidemic may also be widely distributed in certain high-risk populations such as drug users and the general population (WHO, 2014). There are also various strains of the HCV virus, and this determines their distributions in various regions (WHO, 2014).
There are various symptoms used in the identification of the disease. The most common symptoms include abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, and yellow color in the skin or eyes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2014). Symptoms usually occur 6-7 weeks after one is exposed to the virus (CDC, 2014). However, the majority of those infected do not develop symptoms.
There are various steps taken in the identification of the disease. The first step is the identification of anti-HCV antibodies using a serological test (WHO, 2014). A positive test means there will be a second test. The test involves a nucleic acid test for HCV RNA (WHO, 2014). This is used to confirm chronic form of infection. Positive chronic infection leads to a third test. This is a liver biopsy or non-invasive test to determine liver damage (WHO, 2014).
The disease sometimes is fought by body immune systems. Hence, it requires no treatment. However, treatment is done by a combination of antiviral therapy with interferon and ribavirin (WHO, 2014).