Little did small town Texas police officer, Truman Bradshaw think that 24 years after getting bit by a drunken man he would be dying of cirrhosis and Stage 4 liver cancer and seeking a liver transplant.
But that is exactly what has happened. As Bradshaw explains it, he saw a drunken man stumbling down the street and was concerned for his safety so he attempted to take the man, whose name he cannot even recall, home safely.
Instead a fight ensued which resulted in a bite on his right forearm. The drunk was then taken in for public intoxication. But that was the beginning of Bradshaw’s problems.
He explains that just a few days later he started feeling very weak, saying it felt “like a Mack truck hit him”.
At the time hepatitis C was an unknown and he was diagnosed with non-A, non-B hepatitis.
Unfortunately for Bradshaw, he currently only has 6 percent of his liver functioning and is awaiting a life-saving liver transplant. Doctors give him 6-18 months to live without one.
Transmission of hepatitis C through a human bite is quite uncommon and represents a small fraction of all hepatitis C cases.
Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
Hepatitis C can be either “acute” or “chronic.” Acute hepatitis C virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the hepatitis C virus. For most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, or even death.
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. The best way to prevent hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injection drug use.