Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C Parent Letter

CAUSE:

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by direct contact with an infected person’s blood. Infection with the Hepatitis C virus can lead to chronic liver disease and is the leading reason for liver transplant in the United States. Rarely, people living with an infected person can contract the disease by sharing items that might contain that person’s blood.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Most people don’t have symptoms

Symptoms, if present, are similar to Hepatitis A

  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Feeling very tired
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

INCUBATION PERIOD:

The incubation period is estimated at 2 to 26 weeks

MODE OF TRANSMISSION:

Contact with infected person’s blood

Sharing injection drug or tattooing equipment

Blood transfusion before 1992

Infants born to a mother with Hepatitis C

Occupational exposure through needle stick

Can be passed during sex, but this is very uncommon

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

There is NO vaccine

Avoid sharing injection drug equipment

Don’t share tattooing equipment, razors, toothbrushes, or fingernail clippers

Use standard precautions in occupations, which involve possible exposure to blood

Avoid unsafe sexual practices

PERIOD OF COMMUNICABILITY:

75% to 85% of those infected with Hepatitis C do NOT recover completely and are more likely to continue to have a long-term infection. Those who continue to be infected can go on to develop chronic Hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver. Some people may also become lifelong carriers of these viruses and can spread them to other people.

IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL:

None. Report to Coordinated Student Health Services, Coordinated Student Health Services will report to Department of Health-Broward.