Hepatitis C is essentially an infection that causes significant inflammation of the liver.
Currently, approximately 3.5 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis C. Although this infection can be treated with various antiviral drugs, chronic hepatitis C does cause liver damage across time.
Unfortunately, most people infected with hepatitis C are unaware during the earliest stages because the symptoms are very mild. When symptoms do surface, they typically develop within the first two weeks to six months. If you’re concerned that you have been infected, here is the step-by-step process to better understand the signs and symptoms.
- Step one: Understand your risk
There are certain situations and circumstances that increase your risk of infection, including:
- Sharing drug paraphernalia, including straws and needles
- Getting tattoo work done in an unsterile environment
- Received a blood transfusion before July 1992
- Having a mother with HCV at the time of birth
- Having unprotected sex with multiple partners
- Being a healthcare worker who has been stuck accidentally with a contaminated needle