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Definition of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread via blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and needle sticks. HCV causes most transfusion-associated hepatitis, and the damage it does to the liver can lead to cirrhosis and cancer. Transmission of the virus by sexual contact is rare. At least half of HCV patients develop chronic hepatitis C infection. Diagnosis is made by blood test. Treatment is via antiviral drugs. Chronic hepatitis C may be treated with interferon, sometimes in combination with antivirals. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Previously known as non-A, non-B hepatitis.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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