Hepatitis C is one of the most common viruses in Pakistan, affecting millions of lives daily. Inflammation of the liver occurs through the skin as a result of contaminated needles, razor blades, dental and medical equipment and un-screened blood transfusions. However, along with the facts are several fictitious beliefs regarding HCV. Here are some of the common myths about Hepatitis C.
Myth – There are Clear Symptoms Suggestive of Hepatitis C
Fact – The most worrying part about Hepatitis B and C is that most of the time, the symptoms aren’t apparent until the disease reaches a critical stage. Incidentally, symptoms start to show one to six months after the virus attacks. Intense abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue and jaundice are common symptoms of HBV and HCV.
Myth – Hepatitis C Always Results in Death
Fact – In some cases, the disease lasts for a couple of weeks. In other cases, chronic liver infections, or even liver cancer may occur. However, not all cases result in death since HVC is curable.
Myth – There is No Cure for Hepatitis C
Fact – The only truth to this statement lies in the fact that months after the treatment is over, reinfection may still be possible. However, advanced treatment options have emerged for HCV. This helps doctors recommend the right solutions to cure patients effectively.
Myth – Only Heroin Addicts Catch This Virus
Fact – Common victims of this deadly disease happen to be drug addicts who inject contaminated needles. However, patients receiving blood products due to blood transfusions or organ transplants are also at risk. Furthermore, injecting any used needle is extremely dangerous, be it for recreational drugs or medicinal. Additionally, tattoos or piercings from questionable places may result in the use of unhygienic or poorly sterilized tools. All these factors can cause HVC.
Myth – There is No Way to Avoid Catching Hepatitis C Virus
Fact – There are several ways in which you can avoid catching HVC. The primary way is to avoid sharing needles, or using contaminated injections for drugs. Strict rules need to be applied when getting vaccinated. Always make sure that the syringe is brand new and once used, is thrown away. Furthermore, sharing razors, nail cutters or personal items should also be avoided since there is a risk of contamination by blood. Piercings must be done from reliable sources, especially where hygiene is taken care of.
Myth – Hepatitis C is Contagious Even by Physical Contact
Fact – Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease. In other words, catching the virus through the air is not possible. Therefore, the only way to catch it is to come in physical contact with an HCV carrier’s blood. Otherwise, hugging, sneezing, coughing or holding hands is not likely to cause this disease.
Myth – The Physical Effects of Hepatitis C Kick in as Soon as the Virus is Caught
Fact – Another term for Hepatitis C is the “silent epidemic“. In other words, HCV may be present in your system for months without you being aware of it. Furthermore, you may even be cured of it and still have the infection residing inside your body. Therefore, regular checkups are important for the prevention of a serious liver disease.
All in all, Hepatitis C is a serious disease, which may result in adverse effects if not treated in time. However, treatments are available to avoid serious liver infections. Therefore, patients can be cured in many cases if they get regular checkups from a reliable doctor.