posted by admin on May 28

Hepatitis С virus is transmitted primarily through large or repeated percutaneous exposures to blood. During a medical evaluation, it is important to obtain a history of high-risk practices associated with transmission of the virus. Risk factors for HCV infection include the following:Injection and other illegal drug use – Currently, most new HCV infections are associated with injection drug use. Approximately 50% to 60% of these individuals are infected within 3 months of initiation of injection behavior. Even individuals who infrequently used injection drugs in the remote past may be at risk for infection with HCV. Intranasal cocaine use has also been associated with the acquisition of HCV.Transfusion and organ transplantation – Improved screening of blood and organ donors has made transmission of HCV by transfusion or transplantation rare. The introduction of HCV antibody detection testing in 1992 significantly reduced the risk of disease by these routes. With the implementation of this testing in blood banks, the risk for HCV infection from blood transfusion is now less than 1 in 103,000 transfused units. The residual risk results from blood donations that occur in the period between infection and the development of detectable antibodies.Hemodialysis -The prevalence of HCV antibody among hemodialysis patients is approximately 10%, and the infection is presumed to have been transmitted by inadequate infection control practices.Health care workers – The prevalence of HCV infection among health care workers is similar to that in the general population (approximately 2%). Needle-stick injury is the primary risk factor for HCV transmission, and the incidence of seroconversion after such an injury is 3% to 4%. Transmission of HCV from blood splash to the conjunctiva has also been reported.Sexual activity – Transmission of HCV does occur through sexual activity, but at low frequency. The estimated seroprevalence of HCV is 2% to 3% among partners of HCV-infected individuals who are in long-term monogamous relationships. Thus, monogamous couples do not need to use barrier protection but should be advised that condoms may reduce the risk of HCV transmission. HCV-infected individuals who have multiple sexual partners or who are in short-term relationships should be advised to use condoms to prevent the transmission of HCV (as well as other sexually transmitted disease).Household contact – HCV transmission by normal household contact is extremely uncommon. There is no evidence that casual contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils, is associated with HCV transmission. However, sharing household items that may be contaminated with blood, such as razors, toothbrushes, or nail care tools, should be avoided.Tattooing/body piercing – These activities have been associated with HCV transmission, and contaminated equipment or supplies have been implicated.Vertical transmission – Among infants born to HCV-positive, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative women, the incidence of HCV infection is 5% to 6%, but the incidence is higher among children born to HCV and HIV co-infected mothers (14-20%). Infants born to HCV-positive women should have their blood tested for either HCV RNA at approximately 6 months of age or HCV antibody at 15 months of age (after maternal antibodies have waned). Breastfeeding does not appear to transmit HCV. Current therapeutic modalities for HCV are contraindicated during pregnancy, and no studies have evaluated the use of elective cesarean section for the prevention of mother-to-infant HCV infection.*78/348/5*

Share and Enjoy:

Random Posts

Comments are closed.