While a small part of the rise in Hepatitis C (HCV) is probably due to newly diagnosed Baby Boomers, who were exposed more than other generations and are at an age where the incubation of Hep C is causing symptoms to appear, experts are attributing most of the 300 fold rise to the current opioid epidemic.
Unlike HIV, Hep C isn’t deterred as much by needle exchanges. It’s actually very virulent, with a very small number of viruses needed for transmission. That means that an imperceptible amount of blood can transmit it to the tiniest of wounds in the skin (things like sharing toothbrushes, razors, or in the case of drug use, it can go from needle to shared spoon to needle, or travel on a cotton ball). Being highly transmissible means that over time, this is a huge risk increase for everyone. For instance, more people with Hep C will likely mean a higher risk of hospital transmission from hospital errors and negligence.
Here’s the good news: it takes about 6 months after transmission for infection to take hold and become detectable. Exposure doesn’t mean Hep C infection, and a strong immune system can kick the disease.
With more Hep C cases out there, healthy, immune supporting habits are worth it. That just means to keep up with all the health basics (sleep and eat well, and exercise occasionally), reduce inflammation (from flossing regularly to caring for even small wounds), and adding an immune supporting supplement like colloidal silver to your daily routine.
Right now, the opioid epidemic is really concentrated in a handful of states, but Hep C could easily spread, so pay attention to outbreaks and local news, and keep your immune system strong.
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