Hepatitis C Information
What Is Hepatitis
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a
viral disease that affects your liver and can cause chronic liver disease.
Almost four million people in the U.S. have been infected with Hepatitis C.
What Are The
Symptoms of Hepatitis C?
The symptoms of Hepatitis C are usually very mild. In fact, 3 out of 4 people
who are infected with Hepatitis C have no symptoms and can infect others
without knowing it. It can take many years from the time a person is infected
with the virus before symptoms occur, like extreme fatigue, cirrhosis of the
liver, liver cancer, or liver failure.
How Could I
Get Infected With Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is mainly spread through blood. This might happen by:
- Sharing needles or syringes to inject drugs
- Sharing other drug supplies such as cookers, cottons
or cocaine straws
- Medical procedures such as kidney dialysis or
blood transfusions (before 1992)
- Working in jobs where you are exposed to
blood, such as healthcare, EMS or body art studio without proper
- Getting a non-professional tattoo or body
piercing (like at someone’s home)
- Sharing personal care supplies like razors or
toothbrushes that may have a small amount of blood on them
transmission is possible, but uncommon
Who Should Get Tested for Hepatitis C?
The CDC recommends you
get tested for Hepatitis C if you have any of the following risk factors:
- People born from 1945 through 1965
- Anyone who ever injected drugs, including those
who injected once or a few times many years ago
- People who received clotting factor concentrates
produced before 1987
- People who were ever on long-term hemodialysis
- People with abnormal alanine aminotransferase
- People with HIV infection
- Anyone who received a transfusion of blood,
blood components, or an organ transplant before July 1992
- Anyone who has had contact with the blood of
someone with Hepatitis C, such as through a needle stick injury
- Babies born to mothers who have Hepatitis C
How can I get tested
for Hepatitis C?
Columbus Public Health also offers free Hepatitis C testing
for people with risk factors for Hepatitis C infection. To schedule an appointment please call our
care line at 614-645-CARE. You can also be tested
Hepatitis C through your primary care doctor.
Is there a Vaccine for
No vaccine is currently available for Hepatitis C.
Can Hepatitis C Be Treated?
Yes. There are
several new medications available to treat Hepatitis C, including new
treatments that appear to be more effective and fewer side effects than
previous options. Over 90% of people who
are treated for Hepatitis C can be cured of the virus.
alcohol and certain medications, getting exercise and eating a healthy diet are