Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that attacks the liver. It results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. Hepatitis C can be either “acute” or “chronic.”
Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, Hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants.
People can become infected with the Hepatitis C virus during such activities as
-Sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs
-Needlestick injuries in health care settings
-Being born to a mother who has Hepatitis C
Less commonly, a person can also get Hepatitis C virus infection through
-Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another person’s blood, such as razors or toothbrushes
-Having sexual contact with a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus
Please see your doctor and get tested if required.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.