Viral hepatitis can have a profound impact on your health, especially if it goes undetected. Early detection and treatment are vital to managing the disease.
Hepatitis C: How to Detect, Diagnose and Manage It
What Is Hepatitis C?
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 150 million people are chronically infected with Hepatitis C, a virus transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected person. Approximately 80 percent of people infected with the Hepatitis C virus do not exhibit any symptoms. Those who do may exhibit fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, joint pain and jaundice.1
If left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis and even cancer. The good news is that with early detection and treatment, hepatitis C can be completely cured.
Should You Get Tested for Hepatitis C?
If you fit into these categories, be proactive and get tested:
- Were born between 1945 and 1965 (baby boomers)
- Received donated blood or organs before 1992
- Have ever injected drugs, even if it was just once many years ago
- Have certain medical conditions, such as chronic liver disease and HIV or AIDS
If You're Infected with Hepatitis C
The World Health Organization recommends:1
- Education and counseling options for care and treatment
- Immunization with the hepatitis A and B vaccines to prevent co-infection from these hepatitis viruses to protect your liver
- Early and appropriate medical management, including antiviral therapy if appropriate
- Regular monitoring for early diagnosis of chronic liver disease
1. World Health Organization. Hepatitis C Fact Sheet, No. 164, July 2013.
Information provided is for general background purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by a trained professional. You should always consult your physician about any healthcare questions you may have, especially before trying a new medication, diet, fitness program, or approach to healthcare issues.