Hepatitis C is a sneaky virus. About 80% of infected people don't have any symptoms of the virus, and their liver shows only a little damage. Many of these people are diagnosed with hepatitis C after showing abnormal liver enzymes on routine blood tests. Other people -- about 10% to 20% of those infected with the virus -- develop cirrhosis after having the infection for 20 or 30 years. This is when the normal functioning liver is replaced by scar tissue. A smaller number of people develop liver...
At least 3 out of 4 people (75%) who get hepatitis C
are those who have been repeatedly exposed to infected blood. These include
injection drug users, people with hemophilia who were treated with blood clotting factors before 1987, and people who received blood transfusions before 1992.
Between 10% and 20% of
people who have received hemodialysis for kidney problems are infected with
Between 1% and 10% of people with chronic hepatitis C are infected because of
high-risk sexual behavior.
About 1% of people, such as health care
workers, become infected through accidental exposure to infected blood.
American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Hepatitis C. In
LK Pickering et al., eds., Red Book: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 28th ed., pp. 357-360. Elk Grove Village, IL: American
Academy of Pediatrics.
O'Leary JG, Davis GL (2010). Hepatitis C.
In M Feldman et al., eds., Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 9th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1313-1335.
Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
July 6, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 06, 2011
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