Facts About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It may lead to chronic liver disease. That is, the disease might be in your body for a long time, perhaps even a lifetime.
People with hepatitis C usually show no signs or symptoms. However, if symptoms do exist, these include jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), fatigue (tiredness), and dark urine. Some of these symptoms are similar to those shown by hepatitis A and B.
The hepatitis C virus is transmitted when an uninfected person comes into contact with bodily fluids of an infected person. HCV spreads by having unprotected sex with an infected person, sharing needles for IV drugs, steroids, piercing or tattooing, and from mother to baby during birth.
Some of the persons who are at risk of developing hepatitis C include persons with multiple sex partners, men who have sex with men, injection drug users, household contacts of infected persons, babies of infected mothers, health care workers, and hemodialysis patients.
Having protected sex and avoiding infected sharps or sharing personal items (razors) can help prevent hepatitis C. Unlike hepatitis A and B, a vaccine is not available for hepatitis C.