It is an infection of the liver. This infection is caused by hepatitis C virus. In US alone, around 3.9 million people have this infection. As it causes only fewer symptoms, most people having this infection don’t know that they are infected.
Many forms of hepatitis C virus occurs. The most common is the type 1. They respond to treatment differently.
Hepatitis C Symptoms
Most people with this infection do not show any symptoms. But you can notice some of the following:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
How Do You Get The Virus?
The virus usually spreads through the body fluids or blood from a person having this infection. You can get the virus from:
- A mother can pass it to a child during the time of birth.
- Sharing of needles and drugs
- Usage of infected needles
- Sex, especially if you are suffering from STD, have multiple partners or HIV infection.
Who May Get The Infection?
The center for Disease Control recommends you to get tested for the infection if you:
- Show symptoms of liver disease
- Have HIV
- Had any organ transplant or blood transfusion before July 1992
- Used any injected drugs before
- Were born between the years 1945 & 1965
- Have been on kidney dialysis for long term
- Before 1987, receive any blood product to treat clotting problems
- Receive blood from any donor who had this infection
- Born to a mother with hepatitis C
Hepatitis C Diagnosis
A blood test helps in the diagnosis of hepatitis C virus. Blood test also helps to differentiate between the various types of hepatitis.
Any Long-Term Effects?
About 75 to 85 percent of people having this disease develop a long term infection known as chronic hepatitis C. It may also lead to other conditions such as cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver scarring. One of the top reasons why people get liver transplants is due to this chronic hepatitis C.