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Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver. It can cause serious liver damage if it is not treated.
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Hepatitis C is caused by a virus. The virus can be spread:
The hepatitis C virus is not spread through food or water.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem in healthcare workers are:
Some people may not have symptoms. Others may have:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This may be enough to suspect the diagnosis.
Blood tests will be done to confirm hepatitis by looking for:
The diagnosis may may be made as part of a routine screening test during a regular exam.
In some people, the infection may go away on its own. If the infection does not pass, the goal of treatment is to:
To lower the risk of this infection:
American Liver Foundation
Hepatitis Foundation International
Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. Accessed January 29, 2021.
Acute hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-hepatitis-c-infection. Accessed December 30, 2020.
American Society for the Study of Liver Disease/Infectious Diseases Society of America (AASLD/IDSA). HCV Guidance: Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C. AASLD/IDSA 2018 May 24.
Chronic hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-hepatitis-c-infection. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Viral hepatitis—hepatitis C information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/index.htm. Accessed December 30, 2020.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD Last Updated: 12/30/2020