How hepatitis C spreads

It is important to note that hepatitis C is an easily transmitted disease. By being familiar on how the disease spreads, you can avoid being infected by the virus. Remember that hepatitis C infection can lead to liver damage, thus it is vital that you are familiar with ways on how the disease spreads. To recognize the symptoms and observe disease transmission precautions, enroll in a first aid and CPR course today.

Transmission through blood

There are various ways in which an individual can acquire hepatitis C but the most common way is exposure to blood. This can occur if an individual is exposed to the blood from an infected person which occurs when:

  • Using a needle or syringe when injecting drugs that has been used by an infected individual
  • Injured by a needle stick in a laboratory or healthcare setting that came in contact with infected blood
  • Sharing toothbrushes, razors or other personal care items of an infected individual

Sexual transmission

Hepatitis C

hepatitis C infection can lead to liver damage, thus it is vital that you are familiar with ways on how the disease spreads.

An individual can acquire hepatitis C from sexual contact but there are certain sexual behaviors that can increase the risk of acquiring the infection which includes the following:

  • Having more than one sexual partner
  • Individual has HIV
  • Individual has STD
  • Engaging in “rough” sex or one that can cause bleeding

During sexual contact, it is recommended to use a condom to help prevent the spread of infection.

Piercings and tattoos

Since hepatitis C is an infectious disease, it can be transmitted via unregulated settings that provide body piercings, tattooing or body art. Commercial tattoo businesses that are licensed are generally considered as safe. On the other hand, informal settings that offer tattooing or piercing services might not have adequate safeguards to avoid the spread of infection.

Precautions at home

Once the skin is directly exposed to blood of an individual infected by hepatitis C, he/she can acquire the virus. This is considered rare but it is still vital to take certain precautions at home.

Always clean any blood spills thoroughly. The presence of blood on any surface can stay infectious for some time and includes blood that has already dried up. When cleaning blood, always wear rubber gloves. Use a solution that contains water and bleach.

Connection with genetics

In some circumstances, if the mother of the individual had hepatitis C, there is a higher risk for the individual to acquire the virus. It is advised that those who have known risk for acquiring the virus should consult a doctor. Testing for hepatitis C will be performed. Remember that the infection might not show any symptoms for many years. This is why a blood test is the only way to confirm a diagnosis.

Being prepared

Always bear in mind that the hepatitis C virus spreads via blood. It is not spread via food, water or contact. Once the individual is aware of the risk factors for acquiring the virus, the risk for getting the condition is reduced. If you suspect that an individual has hepatitis C, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible for early treatment.