Hepatitis C is a liver infection. It is caused by the hepatitis C virus. The
virus is spread through infected blood and body fluids.
Hepatitis C is often spread when a person shares infected needles used to inject illegal drugs. It also can be spread if a person uses a needle that has infected blood on it. This could happen when getting a tattoo or piercing.
In rare cases, a mother with
hepatitis C can spread the virus to her baby at birth.
You cannot get hepatitis C from casual contact such as
hugging, kissing, sneezing, coughing, or sharing food or drinks.
who get hepatitis C have it for a short time and then get better. This is
called acute hepatitis C.
But most people get long-term, or
chronic, hepatitis C. This can lead to liver damage as well as cirrhosis, liver
cancer, and liver failure.
Most people who get hepatitis
C do not have symptoms at first. Symptoms may include:
is no vaccine to prevent the disease. Anyone who has hepatitis C can spread the
virus to someone else. But there are things you can do to make infection less likely.
Children with acute and chronic hepatitis C may need to take medicine.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and
call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to
know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Y923 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Hepatitis C in Children."
Current as of:
May 24, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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