What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis is a complicated disease. There are five basic forms - A, B, C, D, E - and each form is further broken down into types and sub-types. Hepatitis C, like Hepatitis B, is a virus that attacks the liver.
Millions of people in developed countries have Type 1 of the Hepatitis C virus, but they are unaware because in most cases there are no symptoms. However, this acute condition can develop into a chronic condition causing liver cancer or cirrhosis.
What Are The Symptoms?
In many cases there will be no symptoms, but some people may notice a yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, extreme tiredness, nausea, sickness and stomach pains - the same as Hepatitis B.
How Is It Contracted?
The Hepatitis C virus is transmitted via blood and other bodily fluids, including saliva, menstrual, vaginal, and seminal fluids. It can be passed from mother to child at birth, and the risk of an infant developing chronic Hepatitis C is very high. Sexual transmission is also possible and drug users can contract it by sharing infected needles.
I am most familiar with Thailand and visitors should be careful if engaging in sexual activity with commercial sex workers, of which there are many.
Hygiene standards in Thai hospitals and dental surgeries tend to be quite high so I would imagine that the risk of contracting Hepatitis C through surgical instruments is quite low, however, many foreigners visiting Thailand like to have tattoos done and hygiene standards in some of Thailand's tattoo parlours may not be so stringent.
Who Is At Most Risk?
People who have undergone blood tranfusions, kidney dialysis, or recipients of donated organs. People who have injected drugs. Anyone who may have come into contact with bodily fluids from an infected person.
Where Are You At Risk?
Hepatitis C occurs worldwide, but with a higher risk in certain parts of Africa and the Middle East. Infection rates in North America and Europe are surprisingly high.
There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.
Source Of information
GlaxoSmithKline, Wikipedia, local doctors, local hospitals, newspaper articles, various.
Travel Related Diseases
Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.
One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. I always use Agoda to book hotels in Thailand. The company was established in Thailand and has great local knowledge, as well as a huge inventory of hotels.
If you click on one of the destinations opposite you will get a list of hotel deals from Agoda. It's generally a good idea to book on-line because you will get a good room rate and you won't suffer the disappointment of arriving at a hotel to find that it is full.
I book hotels regularly in Thailand and I have always found Agoda to be the best on-line travel agent. At times I have spent a lot of time researching hotel prices and although other deals sometimes look better at first I always end up returning to Agoda.
If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.
If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.
Images of Thailand