Hepatitis G

What is Hepatitis G?

Hepatitis G is a viral disease caused by the hepatitis single-stranded RNA virus type G (HGV) of the Flaviviridae family.

This virus is structurally very similar to the hepatitis C virus, which belongs to one of the branches of the family Flaviviridae – Hepaciviridae.

The virus is also known as GB virus-C (GBV-C). HGV and GBV-C viruses were discovered at the same time and are believed to be strains of the same virus. HGV and GBV-C viruses were first described in 1995.

Characteristics of the causative virus

  • From studies done in various laboratories, it is estimated that the infected or carriers of the virus are between 2 and 5% of the population, and in Japan this percentage is around 1.5%.
  • Causes persistent infection that can last up to 9 years in 15 to 30% of cases of infection.
  • HGV / GBV-C often occurs in co-infections with other viruses such as hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus-HIV. It also leads to viremia.
  • There is little evidence that hepatitis G causes fulminant or chronic liver disease. It is possible that HGV / GBV is not a hepatitis virus at all.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis G?

In most cases, the viral infection is asymptomatic. Due to the fact that no clear link has been established between hepatitis type G virus and liver disease, therefore information about the symptoms caused by infection with this type of virus is very limited.

In most cases, it does not cause symptoms similar to those of other types of hepatitis, although in some cases of infection, flu-like symptoms are observed. The incubation period of the disease is also unknown.

Modes of transmission

  • Infection is usually through contaminated blood or blood products.
  • HGV / GBV-C can be transmitted by using personal items infected with the virus, such as toothbrushes, razors. Also, infection can occur from an infected mother to a newborn child at birth and through sexual contact and related contact with the body fluids of an infected person.

Hepatitis G treatment

There is currently no officially established way to treat hepatitis G.

The only thing that can be applied as a therapy is the relief of symptoms, if any, and measures to strengthen the immune system in order to destroy the virus as quickly as possible.</strong >

Intake of more fluids also as a measure to help our immune system.

And in short, everything that is applied as a treatment for a simple viral infection is useful, including, and perhaps most importantly, bed rest for a while.

Most people manage to destroy the virus in the first few years after infection, and according to some scientists this period for a complete cure is no longer than 9 years, but it is possible for the virus to remain in the body for a long time decades old.

Some experts are of the opinion that HGV / GBV-C responds to interferon alpha therapy and complete eradication of the virus can be achieved in patients who are not immunocompromised.

Can we protect ourselves?

Although Hepatitis G is rarer and less studied than other types of hepatitis (such as hepatitis A, B or C), it is still important to take measures to protect and protect against it.

  • Use gloves when handling blood and blood products: Avoiding contact with potentially contaminated blood is a key step in preventing hepatitis G. Gloves are effective protective measures that reduce the risk of transmission of the virus through direct contact with other people’s blood.
  • Use condoms during intercourse: Hepatitis G can also be transmitted through sexual contact, especially with high-risk partners or with history of intravenous drug use. The use of condoms can reduce the risk of this type of transmission.
  • Avoid risky practices: If you have doubts about the sterility of instruments used in procedures such as tattoos, piercings or acupuncture, it is advisable to avoid them. Don’t hesitate to ask the person performing the procedure questions about their hygiene practices and the materials used.
  • Avoid sharing injection needles and syringes: If you use injection equipment, never share with others. Use only clean and undamaged needles and syringes to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Maintain hygiene: Regular hand washing with soap and warm water is an important practice to prevent the spread of infections, including hepatitis G.
  • Vaccination for other types of hepatitis: Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines are available and may provide protection against these types of hepatitis. Thus, if you have not already had a vaccination, consult your healthcare professional about vaccination options.
  • Regular medical examinations: If you are at high risk for hepatitis G ( (eg if you work in healthcare or have poorly controlled intravenous drug use), consult your healthcare professional and have regular medical examinations and tests for hepatitis G infection.
  • Education and information:

strong> Understanding the modes of transmission and preventive measures for hepatitis G is essential. Educating yourself and the public plays an important role in reducing the risk of contracting and spreading this virus.

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