What is it?
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) accounts for millions of victims worldwide. Research results reveal that around 170.000.000 people worldwide suffer from chronic diseases due to infection with hepatitis C virus, and many of them eventually develop complications. Statistics also indicate that there are around 3 million new cases of infection with hepatitis C virus worldwide, each year. Hepatitis C virus is responsible for causing a wide spectrum of chronic liver diseases. Apart from hepatitis C, HCV can cause hepatic fibrosis, complicated cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Modern medicine hasn’t been able to find an appropriate cure against hepatitis C virus and medical treatments available today are not entirely effective. Most medications used today in medical treatments for hepatitis C and other liver diseases caused by hepatitis C virus can’t fully overcome the infection with this type of organism. The therapies available today for people infected with hepatitis C virus have many side-effects and they aren’t entirely curative, as most patients with chronic liver diseases experience a relapse after the medical treatment is interrupted.
Infection with hepatitis C virus also can’t be effectively prevented. Although the virus is mainly transmitted through contact with infected blood or through the use of inappropriately sterilized needles, syringes and other medical instruments, the incidence of hepatitis C virus in people worldwide is considerably high. Prior to 1992, the main cause of hepatitis C virus transmission was blood transfusion, as there were no effective means of verifying the quality and the integrity of the donated blood.
After 1992, new methods of screening the donated blood were introduced and the number of cases of infection with hepatitis C virus has dramatically decreased since then. The risks of infection with hepatitis C virus due to blood transfusions are nowadays considered to be minimal. Despite this fact, hepatitis C virus continues to infect overwhelmingly large numbers of people worldwide and it is believed that inappropriate use of syringes and medical utensils are now the main cause of infection with hepatitis C virus.
Once they become infected with hepatitis C virus, patients experience differentiated symptoms and most people may have no symptoms at all in the initial stages of the disease. While some people experience a rapid aggravation of their disease, most patients can suffer from chronic hepatitis C for years before developing complications. In most patients with chronic hepatitis C, it takes about 10-20 years to develop cirrhosis or other complications. However, for other patients the evolution of hepatitis C can be accelerated by environmental or genetic factors, and infections with hepatitis C virus can sometimes be life-threatening. The fact is that hepatitis C virus accounts for large numbers of deaths each year and medical treatments available today are unable to fully overcome chronic liver diseases developed to due infection with this type of virus.
Hepatitis C virus is a worldwide problem and has drawn the attention of various medical scientists. As medical science progresses, new cures and vaccines become available each day and modern medicine should soon be able to find an affective means of immunization against hepatitis C virus.