How hepatitis c is spread everyday health power generation definition

“Understanding that hepatitis C is transmitted through the exchange of blood from an infected individual to a healthy individual is a key first step toward preventing [hepatitis C] transmission,” says James J. Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California.

Needle sharing among drug users is still the most common source of hepatitis C transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The organization estimates that roughly 38 to 68 percent of injection drug users have HCV. Needles that are reused — for example, during unregulated tattooing — can also spread the infection. 2. Direct exposure to blood

Exposure to large amounts of contaminated blood increases the risk for hepatitis C transmission. If you get a cut and need help tending it, whoever helps you should first put on disposable gloves to prevent exposure in case he or she has a cut. You can also help prevent hepatitis C transmission by covering any cuts or sores with bandages until they’re healed and disposing of used bandages properly.

Uninfected people should take steps to avoid getting someone else’s blood in their eyes, nose, and mouth. If an uninfected person’s skin is exposed to contaminated blood, wash the area with soap and water immediately. If blood gets in the eyes, rinse them with running water right away and call a doctor to find out about further steps that should be taken.

The chances of spreading hepatitis C within your household are low but possible. To be safe, don’t share personal care items that could be contaminated with blood, Lee says. These include razors, toothbrushes, cuticle scissors, and nail clippers.

In addition, be mindful when you go to nail salons or barbershops, where the same tools are used on all customers. A study published in the November-December 2014 issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice found that while regulations to safeguard the public exist in most states, it’s unknown how many businesses comply with them. Ask about tool-sterilization procedures before you frequent these establishments. You can also bring your own nail care supplies. 4. Sexual intimacy

Sex is often listed as a way in which hepatitis C can be transmitted, but this happens infrequently, according to the CDC. A study in the journal Hepatology in February 2013 found that hepatitis C transmission through sex, while possible, is rare in long-term, stable, monogamous relationships; the researchers estimate that HCV was transmitted, at most, in 1 out of 190,000 sexual contacts.

The risk of transmission increases, however, for people who have rough sex, those who have multiple sex partners, and those who have other sexually transmitted diseases, or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), in addition to hepatitis C. Reduce the risk of spreading hepatitis C to your partner by practicing safer sex: Use condoms for all types of intercourse if you have multiple partners, during menstruation, and if either partner has genital sores. 5. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Mothers with hepatitis C who decide to breastfeed should take special care of their breasts. The virus isn’t spread through breast milk, but a baby can be exposed if the mother’s nipples are cracked or bleeding. Ways You Won’t Spread Hepatitis C

There are some ways in which you won’t spread HCV, though. Go ahead and let your significant other have a bite of your sandwich or dessert. According to the CDC, hepatitis C isn’t spread by sharing silverware or drinking glasses, or through water or foods. Showing affection by holding hands, hugging, or kissing is also safe, Lee says. And although germs from sneezing or coughing might cause you to get a cold, they won’t give you hepatitis C.