What is Hepatitis C?

Contracted via blood-to-blood contact, hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. Many people infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms. In fact, most people do not know they have the hepatitis C infection until liver damage shows up decades later.

Hepatitis C is an infection that continues over many years that can cause significant complications, such as:

  • Scarring of the liver tissue (cirrhosis) – After 20-30 years of hepatitis C infection, cirrhosis may occur for portion of patients. Scarring in the liver makes it difficult for the liver to function.
  • Liver cancer – A small number of people with hepatitis C infection may develop liver cancer.
  • Liver failure – A small number of people my have a liver that is severely damaged by hepatitis C and may be unable to function adequately.

Since many people can have Hepatitis C and not display any symptoms, it’s important to get tested. Talk to us today about getting tested if you:

  • Are a current or former drug user who used needles to inject, even if you only did this one time or did it many years ago
  • Have a sex partner who has chronic Hepatitis C or have had many sex partners
  • Had your blood filtered by a machine (hemodialysis) for a long period of time because your kidneys weren’t working
  • Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant from a donor before July 1992
  • Received a blood clotting factor to treat a bleeding disorder (like hemophilia) before 1987
  • Are a healthcare worker and were exposed to blood through a needle stick or had other contact with blood or bodily fluids
  • Have HIV
  • Have evidence of liver disease, such as abnormal liver tests
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a one-time screening for all baby boomers.

For more information or to make an appointment for testing, call us at (281) 338-2861.