Symptoms and Signs of Hepatitis C (Hep C, HCV)

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Medically Reviewed on 3/30/2019

Doctor's Notes on Hepatitis C (Hep C, HCV)

Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver caused by an infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The hepatitis C virus is typically spread through blood contact, such as blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and needle sticks, especially with intravenous drug abuse. Up to 85% of people infected with HCV will go on to develop a chronic (long-term) infection.

Most people do not have signs or symptoms of HCV when they first acquire the infection. About 25% may have fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, or muscle aches. Signs and symptoms associated with chronic hepatitis C, if scarring of the liver develops, can include weakness, weight loss, breast enlargement in men (gynecomastia), yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain, problems with blood clotting, and enlargement of the abdomen due to fluid collection. .

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.