Hepatitis C is one of the most dangerous and seemingly harmless liver infection which is a result of the hepatitis C virus. The other hepatitis viruses include A, B, and the less-common D and E. An infected person’s blood may enter the bloodstream, for example, may be by contaminated needles and sometimes unprotected sex causing further infection.
The Silent Killer
There are about 17,000 new cases of people with hepatitis C in the U.S. yearly. There are multiple cases in which hepatitis fleets, where the body get rid of the virus on its own. But other times, it stays on causing the liver to become inflamed resulting in severe liver scarring, called cirrhosis, and even liver cancer, liver failure, and death can be the result.
Acute Hepatitis C
Acute hepatitis C as you may have already guessed is a viral infection that develops slowly for weeks or months right after the hepatitis C virus (HCV) gets into someone’s bloodstream. “Acute” basically means that the illness is quick and short-lived, taking place within the first two weeks to six months after getting infected.
In approximately 25% of all cases, the virus disappears on its own without that help of any medical treatment. Even though there are several effective treatments for acute hepatitis C, a very less number of people actually experience any symptoms that show that the infection is there such as fever, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms too.
Chronic Hepatitis C
Since the symptoms remain hidden, most cases of hepatitis C end up becoming a chronic infection. Around 75% to 85% of people who have acute hepatitis C usually end up developing chronic infection. Even after six years, the infection can remain benign. It sometimes takes years for the infection to actually show symptoms.
Symptoms Of Chronic Hepatitis C
Chronic hepatitis C is usually found out after one does a blood testing or when an infected person attempts to donate blood. Around 3 million to 4 million people in America are known to suffer from chronic hepatitis C, where the majority are unaware. Globally, about 700,000 people die every year because of liver disease that hepatitis C causes.
Signs and Symptoms
Often referred to as “the silent killer” this virus is capable of hiding in the body for many years. It only gets recognition when the liver is attacked. There are very little signs when someone gets infected so it takes years before finally getting medical help for most. When the symptoms pop up, it is usually too late. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Muscle or joint pain
Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
Dark yellow urine
Yellowish skin or eyes (jaundice)