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Causes

Hepatitis C is a virus that affects your liver. It can be very serious if it's not treated.

There are often no symptoms of hepatitis C at first. Some people get symptoms like muscle aches, a high temperature, tiredness and tummy pain.

Hepatitis C can usually be treated with antiviral medicines. These need to be taken for several weeks.

You can catch hepatitis C from contact with the blood of an infected person, such as by sharing needles. It's very rare to catch it from having sex.

You can reduce your risk of catching hepatitis C by not sharing needles, razors or toothbrushes with other people.

Read more on the NHS website.

There are often no symptoms of hepatitis C at first. Some people get symptoms like muscle aches, a high temperature, tiredness and tummy pain.

Symptoms of hepatitis C

Hepatitis C often does not have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged.

This means many people have the infection without realising it.

When symptoms do occur, they can be mistaken for another condition.

Symptoms can include:

The only way to know for certain if these symptoms are caused by hepatitis C is to get tested.

Read more on the NHS website.

Hepatitis C can usually be treated with antiviral medicines. These need to be taken for several weeks.

Medical treatments

Hepatitis C can be treated with medicines that stop the virus multiplying inside the body. These usually need to be taken for several weeks.

Until recently, most people would have taken 2 main medicines called pegylated interferon (a weekly injection) and ribavirin (a capsule or tablet).

Tablet-only treatments are now available.

These new hepatitis C medicines have been found to make treatment more effective, are easier to tolerate, and have shorter treatment courses.

They include simeprevir, sofosbuvir and daclatasvir.

Using the latest medications, more than 90% of people with hepatitis C may be cured.

But it's important to be aware that you will not be immune to the infection and should take steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected again.

Self-care

There are some things you can do to help limit any damage to your liver and prevent the infection spreading to others.

These can include:

  • eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • exercising regularly
  • cutting out alcohol or limiting how much you drink
  • stopping smoking
  • keeping personal items, such as toothbrushes or razors, for your own use
  • not sharing any needles or syringes with others

Read more on the NHS website.

You can reduce your risk of catching hepatitis C by not sharing needles, razors or toothbrushes with other people.

Read more on the NHS website.

You can catch hepatitis C from contact with the blood of an infected person, such as by sharing needles. It's very rare to catch it from having sex.

Read more on the NHS website.