Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver damage. It’s spread through contaminated blood. It’s estimated that about 3.9 million Americans suffer from the hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to WebMD. And even though this disease is now curable if treated with medication, it also unfortunately exhibits very few symptoms, which means people don’t realize they have it until more serious damage is done to their bodies.
You’ve probably heard of hepatitis A and B, because we have vaccines to protect ourselves from these infections. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to protect us from hepatitis C, and the virus is highly contagious, says Healthline. Researchers continue to work towards creating a vaccine.
To stop this virus from spreading and to protect ourselves, we need to get better informed on the topic. This article dives into everything there is to know about hepatitis C, including the symptoms, causes, risk factors, and available treatments.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is something most of us have heard about, been warned about, and might even know someone who’s contracted it, but do we really know what it is? If the answer to this question is no, then don’t worry! We’ll do our best to explain it here.
The Mayo Clinic writes that hepatitis C is a viral infection that is caused by the HCV and can lead to liver inflammation, as well as more serious liver damage. It is most commonly spread through contaminated blood, but we’ll get into the details of how later.