Hepatitis C Virus Antibody in Patients Attending Private Tertiary Hospital in Nigeria


Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a RNA virus and a member of Flavivirus family; it is mostly transmitted parentally, although the virus can also be acquired vertically or sexually. HCV is more infectious than the human immunodeficiency virus and it requires lesser contact to cause an infection. The virus can persist in approximately 85% of infected individuals unlike hepatitis B virus, there is no vaccine that can protect against hepatitis C viral infection but it is curable. Globally, hepatitis C virus is a causative agent for both acute and chronic hepatitis, which could be a mild infection lasting for a few weeks or a very severe life threatening disease. Chronic hepatitis often leads to the onset of liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular cancer, liver failure, and death. Although, an accurate world estimate of people infected with HCV is not achievable due to high undiagnosed individuals and inappropriate data capturing previous estimate of hepatitis C infection is put at between 2.6% and 3.1% of the world population. The prevalence of hepatitis C infection varies from one region to another and even among communities within a country. The disparity in its prevalence may probably be due to peculiarity of each locality, for instance, prevailing unhealthy practices, culture, and habit of people living in a particular place could contribute to HCV prevalence. World Health Organization put the prevalence of hepatitis C virus by region as; Africa 5.3%, America 1.7%, South-East Asia 2.15% Eastern Mediterranean 4.6%, Europe 1.03%, Western Pacific 3.9%