Most Common Blood-Borne Infection
“At least 2.7 million Americans carry the hepatitis C virus, making it the most common blood-borne infection in the United States,” says an Associated Press report. Hepatitis C is spread from person to person primarily by means of sexual contact or through infected blood. Those most at risk of contracting the disease are intravenous drug users who share needles and people who engage in unprotected sex. The infection can also be spread, however, by tattooists and acupuncturists who do not properly clean their equipment. People who have received blood transfusions are also at risk. Every year, about 1,000 people in the United States receive liver transplants as a result of liver failure caused by the virus.