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2059648 tn?1439770265

Hepatitis C - Where Did It Come From?

How long has Hepatitis C been around?   I have heard that Hepatitis C was brought back from Europe by soldiers from world war ll.  That's just one the stories I've heard.  But how old is this virus?  
6 Responses
683231 tn?1467326617


Ancient History

It is impossible to really know the origins of hepatitis C
since there are no stored blood samples to test for the
virus that are older than 50 years. However, given the
nature of the evolution of all viruses, hepatitis C has
probably been around for hundreds of thousands of
years or more before evolving into the current strains.

Some experts speculate that since HGV/GBV-C, a close
relative of HCV, originated in Old and New World primates,
the beginnings of HCV might be traced back to
35 million years ago. However, this is just speculation
and it is impossible to corroborate these theories at the
present time. On firmer ground is the prediction that
the different subtypes of HCV originated approximately
200 years ago and that the six main genotypes of HCV
most likely had a common ancestor approximately 400
years ago. However, it has also been pointed out that
it is difficult to limit the origin of HCV to such a short
period of human history because the virus is found in
remote areas all over the world. As well, the virus is
mainly spread by direct blood-to-blood contact, making
it difficult to spread and evolve rapidly – especially
considering that the main transmission routes (blood
product use and needle use) have only been in existence
for a short period of time.
2059648 tn?1439770265
Based on you answer....I realize that tattooing has been going on for thousands of years.  Even today in remote countries....tattoos are done with simple sharp objects without sterilization.   I think the practice of tattooing greatly adds to the transmission of Hepatitis C.  The virus can live in contaminated ink wells for extended periods of time.   Many soldiers got tattoos in other countries which I'm sure added to spreading Hepatitis C.
Then there is prison tattooing and the fact that there is a high occurrence of
hepatitis C (near 40%) in the prison population.  

One thing for sure.   I won't be getting a tattoo after being treated for Hepatitis C.   There is a lot of room for error and possible exposure.
683231 tn?1467326617
Funny you mention tattoos. I have several.

My 1st one was in a GI bar up stairs in the tattoo artists apartment/ office not an autoclave in sight. Ah those were the days Germany 1978. Pretty much where I blame my exposure coming from.

Ironically it was an Ankh symbol the Eqyptian symbol for eternal life

I like your handle by the way ;-)
148588 tn?1465782409

Old paper speculating on HCV's co-existence with humans for the last 100,000-150,000 years based on genotype distribution, genetic 'drift', and other factors.
4670047 tn?1375734001

Avatar universal
Interesting...I think most of the things that are attacking us have been around for centuries...ions...  It just the fact that medicine has evolved, people age differently now...live longer...everything has become more apparent.  Look at how research has evolved.  I remember reading an excellent book about how they use to treat diabetes with shock therapy and lock people in sanatoriums for the criminally insane. Yes we have evolved along with the information and research ....medicine is playing catch up to thousands of years of disease and it doesn't help that the natural layer of immunities in our environment's and foods have deteriorated to allow the diseases to accelerate.  Look how technology has evolved in the last 50 years,   It's a circle of craziness...

I also have the Ankh symbol for eternal life and a delicate eternity cuff of conjoined figure 8's on my ankle...no  body piercings but did have 19 ear piercing...wore a zillion little ear rings while in a band, But as you point out...it's blood to blood.  Got my tattoos in India...did my own ears with a needle... Hundreds if ways to get infected....

Interesting article and good question....thanks for the info.  
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