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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease


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What is hepatitis C?

for Veterans and the Public

What is hepatitis C? - Hepatitis C for Patients

Hepatitis means inflammation (or swelling) of the liver. When the liver is inflamed, it can have a harder time doing some of its jobs. (See Understanding the Liver.) A hepatitis virus is one that lives in liver cells and causes inflammation. Different hepatitis viruses have been given different names, such as A, B, and C.

Hepatitis C is a disease that affects your liver. It is caused by a virus, called the hepatitis C virus, or HCV for short. Approximately 4 million people in the United States are thought to have chronic hepatitis C, making it the most common infection of the blood in the United States. Veterans using VA facilities have higher rates of hepatitis C than the general population.