What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a disease that causes damage to a person’s liver. It is caused by the Hepatitis C Virus or HCV and is contagious. A person who gets infected with HCV will show several types of symptoms and should get tested and treated before his or her condition becomes worse.

According to the US Center For Disease Control, there were about 19,000 people infected with the Hepatitis C Virus in 2006. This number is believed to be lower than the actual number of HCV patients because this kind of infection does not really show visible symptoms early on.

Types of Hepatitis C

There are two kinds of Hepatitis C, and they are the acute hepatitis C and the chronic hepatitis C. About three-quarters of those infected with acute Hepatitis C are prone to developing chronic infection. On the other hand, chronic hepatitis C has affected more than three million people in the United States alone, and more and more people are being infected with it since physical symptoms are nowhere to be seen and the virus can be spread around very easily.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Some of the symptoms of acute hepatitis C are the following:

  • Clay-colored feces
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pains

Once a person gets infected with hepatitis C, these symptoms do not immediately show. They usually become apparent after about a month and a half upon contracting the virus. This is the reason why there have been many cases of hepatitis C being left undiagnosed and untreated until the patient reaches the later stages of the disease.

Modes of transmission of Hepatitis

Hepatitis C can be transferred from one person to another in many ways. The most common way is by sharing infected needles. Those that inject drugs to themselves using syringes and needles are more likely to acquire the virus especially if they share that paraphernalia with a Hepatitis C-infected person. Having sex with an infected person may also transmit the virus to you, as well as a pregnant mother to her unborn during the birthing process.

It is extremely important to avoid sharing needles and other similar paraphernalia with other people so to stay away from contracting Hepatitis C and other STDs.