Hepatitis C

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:

  • tired
  • nausea (feeling sick to stomach)
  • decreased appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • jaundice

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.