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Scientists uncover the secrets of hepatitis C, a virus that infects the liver

Hepatitis C virus is one of the infections that can affect the liver and, after several years, lead to liver cirrhosis (severe liver damage) and eventually cancer. This infection is usually contracted through contaminated blood or sharp objects. There is no vaccine against hepatitis C, but highly effective treatment is available. Some people are able to get rid of this virus through their own immune system.

Hepatitis C virus is notorious because it can go undetected for up to a year after infection. Now scientists have discovered that it achieves this feat by producing proteins which keep the body from turning on the natural defences needed to wipe out the virus. Basically, hepatitis C virus suppresses the immune system so it can stay alive. The good thing is that hepatitis C can be diagnosed through blood tests and it can be cured with treatment.

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