Once it is inside your body, it makes copies of itself, which then infect more cells.
“Acute” (uh-KYOOT) hepatitis C is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the virus. In some people, the body clears the hepatitis C virus and there are no long-term problems.
However, people infected with acute hep C may have mild symptoms early on, which generally behave like the flu. They may include:
- Abdominal pain
You may not look or feel sick,
but the hepatitis C virus may be
damaging your liver.
Over time, chronic hepatitis C may cause damage: weakening liver cells and eventually killing them. This process can leave behind scarred liver tissue or “fibrosis” (FYE-BRO-sis).
As the damage and scarring progresses, it becomes harder for the liver to work properly. The final stage of liver scarring is known as cirrhosis (sir-RO-sis). At this point, some people may begin to experience symptoms such as:
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes, also called jaundice
- Muscle and joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine
Talk to your doctor about getting tested for