What is Hepatitis C?



"Hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver and also refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver. The most common types are: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. An estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis; most do not know they are infected.

 

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a disease that harms the liver. A virus causes this disease. The virus spreads from person to person through contact with blood. This can happen in a few ways, sharing drug needles or having sex.  Most people with hepatitis C have no symptoms.  In most cases hepatitis C lasts for many years, this can lead to liver scarring, called “cirrhosis.”

 

Symptoms of Hepatitis C:

When symptoms do occur, they can include:

Symptoms of cirrhosis include:

 

How did I get the disease

 

You can contract the hepatitis C virus if you have contact with the blood of someone who is infected.

 

This can happen if you:

A pregnant woman who is infected can also give hepatitis C to her baby

 

How is hepatitis C treated

 

It depends on what type of hepatitis C you have. There are many new treatment options available today.  The treatments are 8, 12 or 16 weeks in length.  The cure rate is at about 95% to 99% for all geno types.