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Is Hepatitis C Contagious?

👤by AP 0 comments 🕔Monday, September 19th, 2016

Most people with hepatitis C or hep C have no symptoms when they contract the infection. Those that do have symptoms of hep C infection may experience

abdominal pain. fatigue, fever, joint pains, loss of appetite nausea, poor appetite, and vomiting.

What is hepatitis C (hep C)?

Hepatitis (hep C) is a form of viral hepatitis. Hepatitis C causes acute and chronic liver disease. Hepatitis C is transmitted when the virus in infected blood from one person infects another person. Hepatitis C disease is caused by a virus termed HCV (a single strand RNA virus) that infects liver cells. Hepatitis C was referred to in older scientific publications as non-A or non-B hepatitis.

Is hepatitis C contagious?

Hepatitis C is contagious. It is mainly transmitted via blood to blood transfer. This transmission can occur by

sharing needles, acupuncture, tattoo needles, surgical or diagnostic instruments, sexual contact, and organ transplants.

Casual contact (including exposure to saliva and skin to skin such as with a handshake or) rarely, if ever, can transmit hepatitis C virus.

How long before I know I'm infected and have hepatitis C?

The incubation period (time from exposure to the virus to symptom development) for hep C is variable. The time period may vary from about 2 weeks to 6 months with 6 -10 weeks being the average time span. However, about 80% of those infected may not develop acute symptoms.

Symptoms of hepatitis C develop slowly and include

anorexia, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and occasionally jaundice.

About 70% to 90% of infected people do not clear the virus and become chronic carriers. Tests for diagnosing hepatitis C virus include detecting antibodies to the virus and a PCR test that detects virus antigens.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/19/2016

Article Credits / Source

AP / MedicineNet.com

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