BSC 2347 Discussion Hepatitis C Infection

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BSC 2347 Discussion Hepatitis C Infection

BSC 2347 Discussion Hepatitis C Infection

clasps=”subnormal” style=”mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;line-height:normal; background:#857E5B”>Module 01 Discussion – Needle Exchange

The incidence rate of Hepatitis C infection, the most common blood-borne
infection in the United States, has more than doubled since 2004 (Zibbell,
2018). The opioid crisis in the U.S. has largely contributed to this increase
because shared needles among injection drug users is the primary factor in
hepatitis C transmission.

Needle exchange programs allow drug users to safely exchange used
needles for little or no cost. As of 2011, 211 needle exchange programs existed
in the United States (Green, 2012) and many more have been implemented since
then.

In your post, address the following questions:

·
Are needle exchange programs effective at reducing blood-borne disease
transmission?

·
Should more state or federal government agencies set up needle exchange
facilities to help combat blood borne diseases or do they encourage the use of
drugs?

·
Is there a better method to help combat blood borne diseases contracted
through shared needles?

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage. The hepatitis C virus (HCV) spreads through contaminated blood.

Until recently, hepatitis C treatment required weekly injections and oral medications that many HCV-infected people couldn’t take because of other health problems or unacceptable side effects.

That’s changing. Today, chronic HCV is usually curable with oral medications taken every day for two to six months.

Still, about half of people with HCV don’t know they’re infected, mainly because they have no symptoms, which can take decades to appear. For that reason, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all adults ages 18 to 79 years be screened for hepatitis C, even those without symptoms or known liver disease. The largest group at risk includes everyone born between 1945 and 1965 — a population five times more likely to be infected than those born in other years.

Symptoms

Long-term infection with the hepatitis C virus is known as chronic hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis C is usually a “silent” infection for many years, until the virus damages the liver enough to cause the signs and symptoms of liver disease.

Signs and symptoms include:

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  • Bleeding easily
  • Bruising easily
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Itchy skin
  • Fluid buildup in your abdomen (ascites)
  • Swelling in your legs
  • Weight loss
  • Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech (hepatic encephalopathy)
  • Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin (spider angiomas)
    BSC 2347 Discussion Hepatitis C Infection

    BSC 2347 Discussion Hepatitis C Infection

Every chronic hepatitis C infection starts with an acute phase. Acute hepatitis C usually goes undiagnosed because it rarely causes symptoms. When signs and symptoms are present, they may include jaundice, along with fatigue, nausea, fever and muscle aches. Acute symptoms appear one to three months after exposure to the virus and last two weeks to three months.

Acute hepatitis C infection doesn’t always become chronic. Some people clear HCV from their bodies after the acute phase, an outcome known as spontaneous viral clearance. In studies of people diagnosed with acute HCV, rates of spontaneous viral clearance have varied from 15% to 25%. Acute hepatitis C also responds well to antiviral therapy.

Causes

Hepatitis C infection is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection spreads when blood contaminated with the virus enters the bloodstream of an uninfected person.

Globally, HCV exists in several distinct forms, known as genotypes. Seven distinct HCV genotypes and more than 67 subtypes have been identified. The most common HCV genotype in the United States is type 1.

Although chronic hepatitis C follows a similar course regardless of the genotype of the infecting virus, treatment recommendations vary depending on viral genotype.

Risk factors

Your risk of hepatitis C infection is increased if you:

  • Are a health care worker who has been exposed to infected blood, which may happen if an infected needle pierces your skin
  • Have ever injected or inhaled illicit drugs
  • Have HIV
  • Received a piercing or tattoo in an unclean environment using unsterile equipment
  • Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • Received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
  • Received hemodialysis treatments for a long period of time
  • Were born to a woman with a hepatitis C infection
  • Were ever in prison
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965, the age group with the highest incidence of hepatitis C infection

Complications

Hepatitis C infection that continues over many years can cause significant complications, such as:

  • Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). After decades of hepatitis C infection, cirrhosis may occur. Scarring in your liver makes it difficult for your liver to function.
  • Liver cancer. A small number of people with hepatitis C infection may develop liver cancer.
  • Liver failure. Advanced cirrhosis may cause your
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