Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. This can affect liver function and can be caused due to a number of reasons. Most often hepatitis can be caused by a virus. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are caused by different viruses. Hepatitis C can be acute or chronic. Given below are some of the causes and information on the way in which this infection spreads.

Hepatitis C causes
This is a very common infection in the country and can be caused through the following:

1. Virus
The virus invades the body causing inflammation and damage to the liver.

2. Contact
Coming into contact with the blood of an infected person can also be a causal factor for this infection.

Hepatitis C transmission
Hepatitis C is most often spread when an uninfected person comes into contact with the blood of an infected person. This can happen in the following ways:

1. Sharing needles
One of the most common modes of transmission of hepatitis C is sharing of syringes, needles or other equipment that is used to prepare or inject recreational or other illicit substances.

2. From mother to child
It is estimated that about 6% of children born to mothers infected with hepatitis C will also get the virus.

3. Accidents during care
Although it is very rare, individuals or healthcare professionals such as nurses and other hospital staff can get infected with the virus if they do not follow the proper protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

4. Tattoos or body piercings
Unlicensed establishments offering tattoos or body piercings can be a cause for the spread of hepatitis C if they do not use instruments and equipment that have been steralised.

5. Sharing personal care items
Sharing items such as nail clippers, razors, and toothbrush with an infected person can be a cause for the condition. These items can come into contact with the infected blood. Hence, avoid sharing personal care items and even glucose monitors.

6. Organ transplants and blood transfusion
Although the risk of transmission of hepatitis C through organ transplants and blood transfusion is very low due to the various screenings and testing procedures that are carried out, in some extremely rare cases, it can occur.

7. Sex
Another rare mode of transmission of hepatitis C is through sex with an infected person. The risk would be higher for those that have multiple sex partners, are infected with HIV or a sexually transmitted disease. Men who engage in sex with other men are also more prone to this infection.

It should be noted that although there are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. So preventative measures should be taken.