Hepatitis C is a potentially serious liver infection that is caused by the hepatitis C virus. This virus spreads through contaminated blood, making it possible for people to contract it through shared needles, unsanitary tattoo or piercing equipment, or even from a mother to a baby during birth. Symptoms of hepatitis C can take anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks to appear after exposure, and they can include fatigue, nausea, indigestion, bloating, and stomach pain. Unfortunately, many people with hepatitis C may not experience any symptoms at all, which is why it’s important to get tested for the virus regularly to catch it early and prevent serious liver damage.
Hepatitis C is a serious health concern that can be prevented and treated with early detection and proper medical care. It’s important to practice safe behaviors when it comes to needles, tattoos, and piercings, as well as to be aware of the risk factors for hepatitis C, such as having a history of drug use, receiving a blood transfusion before 1992, or having a compromised immune system. If you’re concerned about your risk for hepatitis C, speak to your healthcare provider about getting tested for the virus. With timely diagnosis and treatment, people with hepatitis C can live healthy, fulfilling lives and reduce their risk of liver problems down the road.