Hepatitis C has a way to avoid detection.
The Hepatitis C (HCV) virus is a sly enemy to have in one’s body. Not only does it manage to make itself invisible to the immune system by breaking down communication between the immune cells, it also builds secret virus “factories” that quickly go into mass production.
It takes one to three months from infection to disease, which in the worst case scenario can lead to liver failure and death over time.
After an intense hunt, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) can now describe an important part of the disease’s guerrilla tactics: how hepatitis C converts innocent cells into outright virus factories.
Can last a lifetime
According to Marit Anthonsen, a professor at NTNU’s Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children’ and Women’s Health, “the hepatitis C virus is transmitted through blood and infects the cells in the liver, but it’s not always easy to detect. Often, you have no symptoms when you get infected, so many people are carrying the virus without being aware of it.”
“In most infected individuals, the virus will cause a chronic infection that lasts a lifetime. It may take decades before the infection leads to liver failure or cancer, so a lot of people are unaware that they have the virus in their body. They only notice it when they get seriously ill, which may be too late for the treatments that are available today,” Anthonsen says.
Read full article: How hepatitis C hides in the body
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