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Patient Preparation: No special preparation is required
Unlike Hepatitis B, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. If you think that you may be exposed to risk factors for Hepatitis C, you should undergo a test to rule out Hepatitis C. Because both acute and chronic infections of Hepatitis C have very little symptoms. When symptoms do appear after years, the liver is damaged to a great extent and puts a patient under complications. Therefore, screening is recommended for high risk individuals
*If you have shared a razor with a HCV infected person
Sexual intercourse with HCV infected person
*If you are a healthcare worker who may have come in contact with HCV infected person.
*If you have received blood between 1945-1965
Your doctor may recommend this test for you if:
For the purpose of screening: If you have risk factors for HCV and if you were born between 1945 and 1965.
(This is as per CDC recommendations. Blood transfusions were not screened during these years and hence it is a risk factor.)
For the purpose of Diagnosis: when you may have been exposed to the Hepatitis C virus, such as through contact with infected blood, or have symptoms associated with liver disease
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes infection of the liver. It results in liver inflammation and damage to the liver cells. There are a few tests that are used together to detect, diagnose, and monitor the treatment of a hepatitis C viral infection. HCV Antibody is a commonly ordered test for Hepatitis C infection and looks for specific antibodies in the blood. Hepatitis C is one of five hepatitis viruses identified so far, including A, B, D, and E, that is known to cause the disease. HCV is spread from one person to another through body fluids; ex male to male sex, use of razor/needles from infection person, sex with an infected person and during childbirth. Before tests for HCV became available in the 1990s, HCV was often transmitted by blood transfusions.
Results of HCV viral load testing gives a quantitative indication of the viral load that is detected. When there are low viral load in the blood, the result is reported as "Negative" or "Not Detected."
Sample: 2mL Serum
Methodology: Immuno dot assay