Why is hepatitis C virus (HCV) considered a major public health problem?

Updated: Apr 19, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

HCV is a major public health problem because it causes chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCV also induces extrahepatic manifestations such as mixed cryoglobulinemia, porphyria cutanea tarda, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, lichen planus (LP), and sicca syndrome, all of which should be regarded as early markers of a potentially fatal chronic liver disease. [7] Other commonly encountered dermatological disorders linked with HCV infection globally include urticaria, pruritus, thrombocytopenic purpura, and psoriasis. [8, 9] HCV has been postulated to up-regulate inflammatory cytokines that enhance susceptibility to psoriasis. [10]


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