Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. When first infected, a person may develop signs of acute infection, but most have mild illness or no symptoms at all. An estimated 3 to 10 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C, and most are unaware of their infection due to mild symptoms or no sign of the virus at all.
Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than the rest of the population.
Acute hepatitis C is a short-term illness that may occur within the first six months of exposure to hepatitis C. Symptoms are typically absent or very mild. Some people are lucky and will clear the virus without any treatment at all. However since most cases do not include symptoms, roughly three out of four cases will progress into chronic hepatitis C.
Chronic hepatitis C is a long-term illness that occurs when the hepatitis C virus remains in a person's body for an extended time. As it worsens, it can lead to serious medical conditions, such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver failure or liver cancer.
Many people with hepatitis C do not experience symptoms and are unaware they are infected with the virus. In some cases, symptoms can take 30 years to develop. When symptoms do appear, they can include:
To determine if you have hepatitis C, talk to your primary care physician about being screened. Most insurance carriers will cover the cost of your first screening. If your result comes back positive and you need treatment, contact the Hepatitis C Clinic at Jewish Hospital.
If you are in need of hepatitis C care, call 502.587.4994 or toll-free at 844.212.9783 or fill out the form below.
Fill out the form below and a representative from our Hepatitis C Clinic will contact you as soon as possible.