for Veterans and the Public
How can hepatitis C affect me? - Hepatitis C for Patients
Hepatitis C is a disease of your liver. It is caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus. The virus is spread mainly through contact with infected blood.
Many people don't know that they have hepatitis C, because the symptoms of the infection often are very mild. Some people with hepatitis C feel tired or have an upset stomach. Others may not have any symptoms at all.
Even if you do not have any symptoms, hepatitis C is still a serious illness. There are medications, called interferon and ribavirin, that can make the hepatitis C virus go away in some people, and even better medications are being developed. It is important to get care for hepatitis C because it stays in your body. You can give hepatitis C to someone else and can develop other health problems yourself.
Hepatitis C is the main cause of cirrhosis of the liver in the United States in 2006. In cirrhosis, healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. Over time, with cirrhosis, the liver can stop functioning well, and a person even may need to be considered for a liver transplant.