10 Things to Know About Hepatitis C

man at computer rsz 300x200 10 Things to Know About Hepatitis C PhotoHepatitis C is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. It primarily affects the liver and can range from a mild, short-term condition to a lifelong, serious one. Here are 10 things to know about hepatitis C.

  1. Some people have hepatitis C for just a short time, and it goes away on its own. Between 75-85 percent, however, will develop chronic hepatitis C.
  2. More than 30,000 cases of acute hepatitis C were reported in the United States in 2014.
  3. It’s estimated that 2.7-3.9 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C.
  4. In 2014, more than 19,000 people in the U.S. died of hepatitis C.
  5. Hepatitis C is responsible for more American deaths than any other infectious disease.
  6. The number of cases of hepatitis C has been rising over the years, particularly among those who have a history of injection drug use.
  7. Many baby boomers (those born between 1945-1965 when medical procedures weren’t as safe as they are today) are living unknowingly with hepatitis C.
  8. Between 70-80 percent of people with hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms. For those who do, they’re usually flu-like and include fatigue, achiness, fever and stomach pain.
  9. There is no vaccine against hepatitis C—only against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
  10. Risk factors for hepatitis C include: sharing needles, getting tattoos or body piercings without sterile equipment, having received a blood transfusion before July 1992 and having unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Several tests are used to make a proper diagnosis and monitor hepatitis C. To learn more about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options, visit our hepatitis C care guide.