What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a type of liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus. The virus attacks the liver cells and can cause inflammation to the liver. Eventually, this can lead to liver not working properly.
What causes Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C infection is caused by the hepatitis C virus. The infection spreads when blood contaminated with the virus enters the bloodstream of an uninfected person.
Hepatitis C is spread by direct blood to blood contact by:
- being born to a mother with hepatitis C
- using an infected person’s razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers
- getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
- having unprotected sex with an infected person
- sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
- being tattooed or pierced with unsterilized tools that were used on an infected person
Is there a vaccine for Hepatitis C?
No, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?
When people are first infected with hepatitis C they usually do not have any symptoms. Symptoms sometimes develop 1 to 2 months after being infected and can include:
- nausea (feeling sick to stomach)
- decreased appetite
- abdominal pain
How is Hepatitis C diagnosed?
Hepatitis C is diagnosed by:
- physical exam
- blood tests
- ultrasound may be used to see if an enlarged liver
How is Hepatitis C treated?
Chronic hepatitis C is now curable and is treated with:
- a combination of medications that include new direct acting anti-viral medications with older anti-viral medications
Liver transplantation may be an option for patients with liver failure
REMINDER: This information is intended to provide general information and should not be used to base a diagnosis or treatment. Please consult the doctors about your specific condition and the approach for treatment.