To date, the word "hepatitis" causes panic and fear, since this disease is one of the most dangerous diseases such as HIV, AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. But it must be noted that not always hepatitis is a viral disease.
Viral hepatitis can be caused by one of 6 types of virus causative agents, which are now denoted by uppercase Latin letters - A, B, C, D, E, G. All of these pathogens are viruses of the taxonomic group. But if the cause of the inflammation of the liver is not this, then there is an autoimmune or toxic hepatitis. In the first case, the liver is attacked by the human immunity itself, the causes of which are still unknown, and in the second - the body is affected by toxic substances (this may be as some drugs or industrial chemicals or alcohol).
The most common is viral hepatitis, the most dangerous form of which is hepatitis C due to the development of a chronic form of the disease. The majority of those infected before some time do not know that they are infected because there are no signs of hepatitis C disease. Patients who are not aware that the virus is slowly destroying their liver do not even think about starting treatment. That is why hepatitis C is popularly called a "silent killer".
How does the virus get into the human body? The most inconspicuous and at the same time harmless methods of infection with hepatitis C, with certain prerequisites are:
- drug use through syringes;
- medical negligence;
- tattoos and piercings;
- unprotected sexual intercourse;
- reception at the stomatologist, the cosmetician.
The causes of infection can be intravenous drug use with the same needle to a sick person and healthy; intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous injections of drugs with infected instruments; skin damage due to tattoos and piercings, as well as the subsequent use of unsterilized instruments; unprotected sexual intercourse in any form in the presence of open bleeding microtraumas on the genital organs.
You can find out about the presence or absence of the disease in several ways. The very first of these is the analysis of anti-HCV: the immune system begins to produce specific proteins to fight the virus - antibodies to the virus. But there are cases when this analysis can give false positive or false negative results - a dubious result of the analysis for hepatitis C. In the first case, the analysis shows the presence of the virus, but in fact, it is not, in the second - on the contrary. Therefore, for more accurate diagnosis, a more complex examination is appointed, for example, qualitative and quantitative analysis of polymerase chain reaction, liver biopsy and so on.
By decoding the PCR analysis for hepatitis C, you can find out not only the presence or absence of the virus in the blood, but also the level of its quantity, since it is this that determines effective antiviral therapy.