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Hepatitis-C

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Hepatitis-C is an infectious disease primarily affecting the liver. It is spread through blood-to-blood contact, generally associated with intravenous drugs, transfusions, or badly sterilized medical equipment. Hepatitis-C is the leading cause of liver transplants. Routine screening for hepatitis C is not typically performed unless you think you have come in to contact with a person infected with hepatitis C or if you were born between 1945 and 1965 (baby boomer screening). (WebMD, 2014). Treatment requires close monitoring with frequent blood tests and may require additional medications to combat side effects. Treatment is usually provided by someone experienced with treatment of hepatitis C, such as a hepatologist or infectious diseases specialist. However, due to the increasing number of people infected with Hepatitis C, more and more primary care doctors are being trained to manage Hepatitis C.

People who may be at risk for hepatitis C are those who: * Have been on long-term kidney dialysis * Have regular contact with blood at work (for instance, as a health care worker) * Have unprotected sexual contact with a person who has hepatitis C (this risk is much less common than hepatitis B, but the risk is higher for those who have many sex partners, already have a sexually transmitted disease, or are infected with HIV) * Inject street drugs or share a needle with someone who has hepatitis C * Received a blood transfusion before July 1992 * Received a tattoo or acupuncture with contaminated instruments (the risk is very low with licensed, commercial tattoo facilities) * Received blood, blood products, or solid organs from a donor who has hepatitis C * Share personal items such as toothbrushes and razors with someone who has hepatitis C (less common) * Were born to a hepatitis C-infected mother (this occurs in about 1 out of 20 babies...

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