Below are key facts and information regarding Hepatitis C.
- Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus.
- The virus can be both acute and chronic. It can range from a short, mild illness to a severe, lifelong infection.
- Hepatitis C virus is a blood-borne infection, and is commonly transmitted by unsterile needles and unscreened blood/blood products. It may also be passed from a mother to her baby or during unsafe sexual practices, though these modes are less common.
- Hepatitis C is not spread through breast milk, food or water, or by casual contact such as hugging, kissing, or sharing food or drinks with an infected person.
- 130 million – 150 million people are affected world wide with chronic hepatitis C.
- If a person becomes infected, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months for the virus to show up in a blood test.
- Following initial infection, approximately 80% of people will not show any symptoms. If there are symptoms, they may include fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-colored feces, joint pain, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes).
- A significant number of people with chronic hepatitis C will develop cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer if not treated.
- 350,000 to 500,000 people die each year from diseases related to hepatitis C.
- To confirm a diagnosis of hepatitis C, a blood test will need to be done.
- There have been recent advancements in the medical field regarding treatment for hepatitis C. New antiviral medications can cure hepatitis C infection, and has been successful in greater than 90% of people who have received treatment. Treatment has also been shown to reduce development of liver cancer and cirrhosis.
Please contact our office to further discuss new and exciting treatment options to cure hepatitis C!