Hepatitis C is a condition that has effects on the liver. It is caused by a virus that can be transmitted from person to person through blood. In the country, hepatitis has become the most common viral infection that is blood borne. It affects more than 3 million people in the country. There are various ways through which hepatitis C spreads. Let us read how is hepatitis C spread and contracted.
1. Through Sharing of Intravenous Paraphernalia
This is found to be one of the most common answers to how is hepatitis C spread and contracted. Hepatitis C virus can easily spread through reused drug equipment. People who take intravenous substances are found to be reusing equipment or needles that are used for preparation. This act puts them at the risk of coming in contact with body fluids of people, which could also include the fluids of people who are infected by the virus. Use of illicit substances can have negative effects on mental wellbeing and can hamper judgement of a person. Therefore, continuous use of shared needles can increase the risk of exposure. It has been found by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that a person infected with hepatitis C virus can go on to infect to as many as 20 people through shared needle use.
2. During Piercing or Tattooing Procedures
As per the CDC, the hepatitis C virus can be contracted while one is getting tattoos or piercings done under poorly managed infection control. Tattoo and piercing parlors that have received a commercial license are generally believed to be safe. Other settings who haven’t received their license might not be following necessary protocols that are required to prevent the spread of virus. Therefore, getting tattoos or piercings in such settings can put a person at the risk of contracting hepatitis C virus through needles and other equipment.
3. Through Blood Transfusion
Before 1992, one of the most common ways of contracting hepatitis C virus was through blood transfusions or organ transplants. But this way of spread and contracting the virus has now become significantly rare thanks to the increased use of disposable components. The CDC says that the infection risk through blood transfusion is reduced to as low as one case in 2 million blood units that transfused.
4. Using Unsterilized Medical Equipment
Although rare, the hepatitis C virus can also spread through the use of medical equipment that has not been sterilized. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to this. These factors include reuse of needles that have already been used on someone infected with the virus, poorly sanitized medical equipment, and contamination of intravenous and multi-dose medications. This mode of infection can be prevented if proper infection control protocols are followed.