Hepatitis C Essay

Essay on Hep. C:

Introduction
Caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) as the primary causal agent, hepatitis C is a highly infectious viral disease. Primarily, this viral infection affects the liver, and it is mainly through intravenous drug use that blood to blood contact takes place, leading to the spread of HCV. The infectivity of this virus is customarily asymptomatic, but insistent contamination can proceed on to damaging of the liver, and eventually this culminates to liver cirrhosis. Apparently, the condition may last for long time periods, even for years, leading to liver cancer or other liver complications whose end result is death.

The hepatitis C virus can also be spread through medical equipment that are poorly sterilized, mother to child transfusion, transfusion of blood and sexual contact with infected parties. Tedder, Gilson and Briggs (1299) confirm the latter by stating that there exists some epidemiological evidence which reveal that sexual contact is a risk factor for that acute non-A and non-B hepatitis strains. This suggests HCV agent responsible for hepatitis C may certainly be sexually communicable. Dark urine, paining right upper abdomen, fatigue, fever and jaundice are some other hepatitis C symptoms. Other signs that reveal HCV infection include appetite loss, pale stools, itching, vomiting and nausea as well as abdominal swelling.

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From the HCV prevalence determination data, it was established that the prevalence of reactivity to the C100 protein contained in an enzyme immunoassay is a fine characterized panel of the collected serum samples. To examine and determine the possibility of sexual transmission of hepatitis C virus, a sample consisting of 1074 consecutive patients attending a genitourinary medicine clinic was taken. There was a significant association between a number of recent sexual partners and positive test on immunoassay shown among a group of heterosexual control groups. This reveals that those from the same that were infected with the virus associated with hepatitis c virus constituted a small percentage (Tedder, Gilson & Briggs 1299-1301).

Hepatitis C virus was found to have a high prevalence among the HIV-1 infected individuals, as revealed by another study carried out among the Swiss HIV cohort study. However, there is controversy over its contribution to the mortality and morbidity of patients receiving potent antiretroviral therapy and who are co-infected (Greub, Ledergerber & Battegay 1800). The study was carried out on a Swiss patient cohort undergoing antiretroviral therapy, aiming at checking their immunologic responses to the medication. It also checked the impact the medication has on the HCV virus, as the cohort comprised of patients with HCV and those without the disease for immunologic comparison.

Data analysis was carried in a different perspective for effective determination of the study progress, and this included medical progression, survival progression, and illness progression among the patients in the cohort. It was revealed by the study that active intravenous drug use and HCV are probable influential factors in the mortality and morbidity among HIV-1 infected patients. This is probably through the recovery of the impaired CD4-Cells in seropositive patients infected with the hepatitis C virus, and still under the potent antiretroviral therapy. Hepatitis C Virus and HIV-1 are common infections affecting hemophilia patients and intravenous drug users according to further studies. The analyses of the same revealed the upsurge in the HCV viral load emanating from the liver damage and related liver disease like cirrhosis is the main cause of accelerated HCV infection among the HIV-1 patients. This has been established through performing a Meta-Analysis (MA), which refers to a research approach that uses a defined protocol to statistically summarize the relevant research studies for patient heterogeneity.

Producing a possible objective or larger picture regarding the current status of the topic of interest is the larger main goal of performing a Meta-Analysis.

A study cohort comprising of 838 patients (439 men and 399 women) was followed for approximately 50.26 months, with a range of 6-122 months. Liver histology at the beginning of the study entry was available in 580 of the 838, with cirrhosis having been found in 130 patients.

Eleven more patients not subjected to liver biopsy bared cirrhosis signs, implying that 141 of the 838 patients had cirrhosis at the study entry. This is equivalent to 16.8%, implying that 696 patients of the 838 accounting for approximated 88.2% were free of the disease (Claus, Stefan & Tobias 1688).

Cohort studies, also termed and ‘prospective’ or ‘longitudinal’ studies are similar to surveys, only that they are time-extended. They allow for change-related studies, where it is desired that the ascertainment of the time-sequence in which events occur be determined. Thus, cohort study is appropriate for case studies, where they help in gathering accurate exposure information. Since this study is conducted over very long time period, and owing to the fact that cohorts have to be closely studied, it requires a large study cohort.

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