Clinical Pearl of the Day: Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage.
- HCV spreads through contaminated blood.Approximately half of people with HCV don't know they're infected, mainly because they have no symptoms, which can take decades to appear.
- The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all adults 18 to 79 years of age be screened for HCV, even those without symptoms or known liver disease.
- Symptoms may include bleeding easily, bruising, fatigue, poor appetite, yellow discoloration, dark-colored urine, itchy skin, fluid build-up, and swelling in the legs.
- Every chronic HCV infection starts with an acute phase. Acute HCV usually goes undiagnosed because it rarely causes symptoms.
- Acute HCV infection doesn't always become chronic.
- Treatment may include medications, surgery, and vaccinations.
- Medications include Ribavirin, Harvoni, Zepatier, Epclusa, Vosevi, Mavyret, and interferon.