Fast Five Quiz: Liver Disease

B.S. Anand, MD


August 16, 2019

In developed countries, most of the new HCV infections are reported in persons who inject drugs. Nosocomial patient-to-patient transmission may occur by means of a contaminated colonoscope, via dialysis, or during surgery.

Although maternal-fetal HCV transmission may occur at a rate of approximately 4% to 5%, breastfeeding is not associated with transmission.

HCV may be transmitted via sexual transmission. However, studies of heterosexual couples with discordant serostatus have shown that such transmission is extremely inefficient. A higher rate of HCV transmission is noted in men who have sex with men, particularly those who practice unprotected anal intercourse and are infected with HIV. 

Transfusion of blood contaminated with HCV was once a leading means of transmission. However, since 1992, the screening of donated blood for HCV antibody sharply reduced the risk for transfusion-associated HCV infection. With the advent of more advanced screening tests for HCV, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the risk is considered to be less than 1 per 2 million units transfused. The newer assays have decreased the window after infection to 1-2 weeks.

Read more on HCV infection.


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