What causes type C hepatitis?
Hepatitis C can be spread in a number of ways. • Through contact with an infected person’s blood. • Through sexual contact, but the risk is very small. • Transmission from mother to child is rare. • The virus can be contracted by accidental pricking with a contaminated needle – this mainly concerns healthcare workers. Type C hepatitis is common in intravenous drug users due to their sharing of contaminated needles. It is also seen in haemophiliacs and people who have had blood transfusions or treatment with blood products. Since 1991 all blood has been tested for type C hepatitis and the risk of transmission through blood is now insignificant. About one third of all cases of type C hepatitis come from an unidentifiable source.