Hepatitis C is a
dangerous disease spreading very fast in Pakistan by greedy dentists.They
are charging high amounts for dental treatments but don't use properly
sterilized surgical instruments.
The liver is the largest organ in the body,
occupying the entire upper right quadrant of the abdomen. It performs over
500 vital functions. It processes all of the nutrients the body requires,
including proteins, glucose, vitamins, and fats. The liver manufactures
bile, the greenish fluid stored in the gall bladder that helps digest fats.
One of the liver's major contributions to life is to render harmless
potentially toxic substances, including alcohol, ammonia, nicotine, drugs,
and harmful by-products of digestion. Old red blood cells are removed from
the blood by the liver and spleen, and the iron is cycled to the bone marrow
to make new ones. Damage to the liver can impair these and many other
processes. People can be exposed to HCV via inadequately or improperly
sterilized medical or dental equipment. Equipment that may harbor
contaminated blood if improperly sterilized includes needles or syringes,
hemodialysis equipment, oral hygiene instruments, jet air guns, etc. Limitations in the implementation and enforcement of
stringent standard precautions in public and private medical and dental
facilities is known to be the primary cause of the spread of HCV in Egypt,
the country with highest rate of infection in the world.(1)
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Experts define hepatitis as
short-term (acute hepatitis) or prolonged (chronic hepatitis). In some
cases, acute hepatitis develops into a chronic condition, but chronic
hepatitis can also occur on its own. Although chronic hepatitis is generally
the more serious condition, patients having either condition can experience
varying degrees of severity.
Acute Hepatitis C
Acute hepatitis can begin suddenly or
gradually, but it has a limited course and rarely lasts beyond one or two
months. Usually there are only spotty liver cell damage and evidence of
immune system activity, but on rare occasions, acute hepatitis can cause
severe -- even life-threatening -- liver damage.
Chronic Hepatitis C
The chronic forms of hepatitis persist for
prolonged periods. Experts usually categorize chronic hepatitis as either
(1) chronic persistent or (2) chronic active hepatitis.
Chronic Persistent Hepatitis
Chronic persistent hepatitis is usually
mild and nonprogressive or slowly progressive, causing limited damage to the
liver. Cell injury in such cases is usually limited to the region of portal
tracts, which contains vessels that carry blood to the liver from the
digestive tract. In some cases, however, more extensive liver damage can
occur over long periods of time and progress to chronic active hepatitis.
Chronic Active Hepatitis
If damage to the liver is extensive and
cell injury occurs beyond the portal tract, chronic active hepatitis can
develop. Significant liver damage has usually occurred by this time. Liver
cells are destroyed between the portal tract and the central veins in the
liver, and progressive cell damage can build a layer of scar tissue over the
liver, resulting in the condition known as cirrhosis. In such cases, the
entire liver is threatened with malfunction and failure.
What Causes Hepatitis?
Viral Causes of Hepatitis
Most cases of hepatitis are caused by
viruses that attack the liver; most are named with the letters A through G.
It should be noted that the cause of hepatitis is sometimes unexplained,
indicating that additional viruses have not yet been discovered.
Hepatitis C was the major cause of all
cases of hepatitis resulting from transfusions and most resulting from
intravenous drug use. Because of blood screening, the risk from transfusions
is now 1 in 10,000. It can also be transmitted through injuries in the skin.
It may also be transmitted sexually. About 10% to 60% of acute hepatitis C
patients develop the chronic form, which can also occur without a preceding
Latest research proves that hepatitis C virus is spread by exposure to large
quantities of blood, either through the skin or by injection:
Injection drug use, Receipt of donated blood, blood products, and organs
Needle stick injuries in healthcare settings
Birth to an HCV-infected mother
HCV can also be spread infrequently through
Sex with an HCV-infected person (an inefficient means of transmission)
Sharing personal items contaminated with infectious blood, such as razors or
toothbrushes (also inefficient vectors of transmission)
Other healthcare procedures that involve invasive procedures, such as
greatly decrease the risk of
hepatitis C spreading between injecting drug users.
No vaccine protects against contracting hepatitis C, or helps to treat it.
Vaccines are under development and some have shown encouraging results.
"Highest Rates of Hepatitis C Virus Transmission Found in
Al Bawaba. 2010-08-09.