Most people who are infected
hepatitis C—even people who have been
infected for a while—usually don't have symptoms.
If symptoms do develop,
they may include:
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A hepatitis C infection can cause damage to your
liver ( cirrhosis). If you develop cirrhosis, you may
have: Redness on the palms of your hands caused by
expanded small blood vessels. Clusters of blood vessels just below
the skin that look like tiny red spiders and usually appear on your chest,
shoulders, and face. Swelling of your belly, legs, and
feet. Shrinking of the muscles. Bleeding from enlarged veins in your digestive tract, which is
called variceal bleeding. Damage to your brain
and nervous system, which is called encephalopathy. This damage can cause
symptoms such as confusion and memory and concentration problems.
Many other health problems are linked with long-term
cirrhosis. For more information, see the topic
Cirrhosis. There also are many
other conditions with similar symptoms. Contagious and incubation periods
period—the time it takes for symptoms to appear after the hepatitis C virus
has entered your body—is from 2 weeks to 6 months.
But you can spread the virus to someone else at any time after you are infected, even if you don't have symptoms.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 06, 2011
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