(pathology) A form of hepatitis that is initially asymptomatic but may lead to chronic and severe hepatitis, and caused by hepacivirus that may spread through infected blood and blood products and sexual contact
The inflammation of the liver is called hepatitis. There are many causes of hepatitis and one of them is viral infection. There are five major viruses that are of medical concern: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E.
Hepatitis C is a viral hepatitis caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) (i.e. from genus Hepacivirus). It spreads mainly through contact with contaminated blood and blood products (blood transfusions). It may also be transmitted by sexual contact although rare. It can also cross the placenta or via mother-infant route during pregnancy. Risk factors include recent blood transfusion, iv drug abuse or occupational exposure to blood products. There is no specific treatment for hepatitis C. There is a test for hepatitis C antibody which indicates prior exposure. Unlike hepatitis B there is no marker yet identifiable for those who suffer from chronic hepatitis C. It is formerly referred to as non-A, non-B hepatitis. Hepatitis C is initially asymptomatic and when symptoms are present they are usually mild (e.g. decreased appetite, muscle or joint pains, fatigue, nausea, and weight loss). However, it may lead to chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.
- virus C hepatitis
- viral hepatitis type C
- hep C