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Hepatitis

The Hepatitis C virus is a blood-borne pathogen that primarily affects the liver. The liver is a large reddish-brown glandular organ located in the upper right portion of the abdominal cavity. This video animation shows how the Hepatitis C virus spreads through the Liver.



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Hepatitis C

The liver is a large reddish-brown glandular organ located in the upper right portion of the abdominal cavity. It secretes bile and performs several important functions.

The Hepatitis C virus is a blood-borne pathogen that primarily affects the liver.

Hepatitis C virus contains RNA (Ribo Nucleic Acid) as the genetic material in its core which is surrounded by a fatty envelope.

In an infected person, the virus enters the body, circulates in the blood stream, and attaches to liver cells. Once attached, the virus releases the RNA into the healthy cells.

The viral RNA then replicates itself hundreds or thousands of times, making genetic material required to produce new viruses.

These new viruses in turn infect other liver cells.

Eventually this process shuts down most of the normal functions of the liver cell and damages it.

Symptoms of Hepatitis

  • Jaundice
  • Mild fever
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

Hepatitis infection may continue for years, eventually resulting in scarring of the liver tissue called cirrhosis.

Hepatitis infection can also result in liver cancer in the later stages.

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 19, 2004 


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