There is no vaccine to prevent
hepatitis C. But you can reduce your risk of becoming
Don't share needles or other equipment (such as cotton, spoons, and water) if you inject drugs. Many cities have needle exchange programs that provide free, sterile needles so
that you don't have to share needles. If you want to stop using drugs, ask
your doctor or someone you trust to help you find out about drug treatment
Follow safety guidelines if you work in health care. Wear protective gloves and clothing, and
dispose of needles and other contaminated sharp objects
Make sure the practitioner sterilizes the instruments
and supplies if you get a tattoo, have your body pierced, or have
If you have hepatitis C, you can help prevent spreading it
Hepatitis C is a sneaky virus. About 80% of infected people don't have any symptoms of the virus, and their liver shows only a little damage. Many of these people are diagnosed with hepatitis C after showing abnormal liver enzymes on routine blood tests. Other people -- about 5% to 20% -- develop cirrhosis after having the hepatitis C infection for 20 or 30 years. This is when the normal functioning liver is replaced by scar tissue. A smaller number of people develop liver cancer after infection...
Don't share needles or other equipment
such as cotton, spoons, and water if you continue to use needles to inject
Keep cuts, scrapes, and blisters covered to prevent others
from coming in contact with your blood and other body fluids. Throw out any
blood-soaked items such as used Band-Aids.
Don't donate blood
Wash your hands—and any object that has come in contact with
your blood—thoroughly with water and soap.
Don't share your
toothbrush, razor, nail clippers, diabetes supplies, or anything else that
might have your blood on it.
Breast-feeding mothers who have hepatitis C can continue to
breast-feed their babies, because hepatitis C cannot be spread through breast
milk. If you are breast-feeding, try to avoid having cracked
nipples, which might pose a risk of spreading the virus to your baby.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 15, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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