100 Q&A About Hepatitis C: A Lahey Clinic Guide by Stephen C. Fabry, R. Anand Narasimhan

By Stephen C. Fabry, R. Anand Narasimhan

There are nearly 2.5 million instances of Hepatitis C within the usa and nearly two hundred million around the globe. even if you are a newly clinically determined sufferer, a pal or relative of somebody with Hepatitis C, this publication deals aid. Written by means of physicians from Lahey medical institution scientific middle, Dr. Fabry and Dr. Narasimhan, this publication offers authoritative, functional solutions to the commonest questions about Hepatitis C.

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Additional info for 100 Q&A About Hepatitis C: A Lahey Clinic Guide

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If the virus is not cleared, treatment should be considered. Treatment of acute hepatitis C is discussed in a separate question. 17. Is there a vaccine to prevent hepatitis C? Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available that targets hepatitis C. 24 A vaccine is a substance meant to help the immune system respond to and resist disease. It usually consists of a small part or a killed version of the organism that is being targeted. The idea is to expose the immune system to the organism in a controlled fashion so that antibodies to the organism form.

In medicine, a sign of a disease is a finding noticed by the doctor, while a symptom of a disease is a sensation noticed by the patient. Some patients will experience mild and nonspecific symptoms including fatigue, mild discomfort over the liver, nausea, and a poor appetite. It is difficult to confirm that these symptoms are directly related to hepatitis C because they are common in many people without the infection. Similarly, most patients do not have any signs of infection. Once cirrhosis develops, there are subtle signs of early or “compensated” cirrhosis and obvious signs of late or “decompensated” cirrhosis.

Because the viral level does not correlate with the severity of infection, this level should not be followed as a marker for disease progression. However, the viral level does correlate with the chance of a response to treatment. Patients with a high viral load (usually defined as more than 2 million copies per milliliter) have a poorer response to treatment than do patients with a low viral load. The viral level is followed closely while patients are on treatment. qxd 8/31/06 3:50 PM Page 40 100 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT HEPATITIS C 28.

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