6 Facts About Hepatitis C Symptoms

Allison Tsai Feb 11th, 2014 (updated Dec 16th, 2014)
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Not everyone infected will have symptoms
Not everyone infected will have symptoms

Approximately 70 percent to 80 percent of people with acute hepatitis C have no symptoms. Some people, however, can have mild symptoms soon after becoming infected.

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Fever, fatigue, and jaundice are all symptoms
Fever, fatigue, and jaundice are all symptoms

Other symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements and joint pain.

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Symptoms often appear six weeks after exposure
Symptoms often appear six weeks after exposure

This period can actually range from two weeks to six months, but the average time is six to seven weeks after exposure. Again, however, most people with hepatitis C never develop symptoms.

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Hepatitis C can be spread without symptoms
Hepatitis C can be spread without symptoms

Even if a person with hepatitis C has no symptoms, they still are able to spread the virus.

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You can have hepatits C and not know
You can have hepatits C and not know

Many people with hepatitis C do not look or feel sick, and therefore may have no idea that they have the virus. A blood test is required to determine if a person has ever been infected with hepatitis C and a followup test is needed to see if he or she is still infected. 

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Chronic hepatitis C may cause liver problems
Chronic hepatitis C may cause liver problems

The symptoms of chronic hepatitis C typically involve liver problems, as there may be no symptoms for many years until liver function and enzyme levels are affected.

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Long- term effects can be serious
Long- term effects can be serious

Chronic hepatitis C can result in long-term health issues, such as liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer and even death. It is the leading cause for cirrhosis and liver cancer. Roughly 15,000 people die every year from hepatits C-related diseases.