Baptist Health Richmond: Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can potentially lead to liver disease. Learn about treating hepatitis C at Baptist Health in Richmond, which offers diagnostic and treatment services.
Hepatitis C in Richmond, Kentucky HealthTalks Transcript
Jagannath Sherigar, MD, Gastroenterology:
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that leads to inflammation of the liver. It’s a worldwide problem — it’s a worldwide, major problem. In the U.S. alone, we have more than 3 million people living with a chronic hep C infection. There are many people who may not have any symptoms with a chronic infection, but they are still able to spread the infection. Chronic hepatitis C can lead to serious complications, including scarring of the liver, what we call liver cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis is also the leading cause of liver cancer. Hepatitis C spreads when blood from an infected person comes into contact with an individual without an infection. Today, most of the infection is from needle exchange from IV drug use, sexual contact, body piercing, body tattooing in a substandard setting, and also an infected mother to an infant during childbirth. Hepatitis C is diagnosed with a simple blood test.
Today, we can proudly say we have a cure for hepatitis C infection. With simplified treatment, we can treat this infection in a few weeks’ time with simple oral pills. We at Baptist Health have all the tools to diagnose and treat patients with infection, and also manage the complications.