Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the liver that can lead to liver inflammation & scarring, as well as liver cancer in chronic disease.
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is spread via contact with blood from an infected person. Many people become infected with Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs. For some, Hepatitis C is a short-term illness (acute), however, for more than half of people who become infected the virus is long lasting infection (chronic). People with chronic Hepatitis C often have no symptoms and don't feel sick. When symptoms do appear, they are often a sign of advanced liver disease. Common symptoms include fever, jaundice (a condition that causes yellowing of the eyes and skin, as well as dark urine), stomach (abdominal) pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, joint pain, and fatigue. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. Treatments have advanced significantly in the previous decade, and many people can be cured with treatment in 8-24 weeks.
Your treatment will depend on many things including what type of hepatitis C virus you have. There are 7 HCV genotypes overall. In the U.S., the most common is genotype 1, followed by genotypes 2 and 3. Genotypes 4-7 are very rare in the U.S. Your doctor will obtain blood work to help you figure out what treatment is right for you.