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Hepatitis C

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Introduction
Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect and damage the liver. You can become infected with hepatitis C if you come into contact with the blood of an infected person.
Symptoms of hepatitis C
Only around one in four people have symptoms during the first six months of a hepatitis C infection. This stage is known as acute hepatitis C.
Causes of hepatitis C
You can become infected with hepatitis C if you come into contact with the blood or, less commonly, the body fluids of an infected person.
Diagnosing hepatitis C
If you think you may have been exposed to hepatitis C, taking a test will put your mind at rest or (if the test is positive) enable you to start treatment.
Treating hepatitis C
Most cases of acute hepatitis C are not treated as the person either does not have any symptoms or mistakes the symptoms for the flu.
Complications of hepatitis C
If it is not treated, chronic hepatitis C can sometimes cause scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). This can develop up to 20 years after you first become infected.
Preventing hepatitis C
There is no vaccination to protect against hepatitis C, but there are ways to reduce your risk of becoming infected.
Living with hepatitis C
Answers to questions about living with hepatitis C, including questions about diet, the workplace, travelling and having a baby.
Hepatitis C expert Dr Janice Main on the questions to ask
We asked Dr Janice Main, a consultant in infectious diseases at St Mary’s Hospital, London, what she would want to know if she had hepatitis C.What symptoms
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Hepatitis C treatment and what the next steps might be.