Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is usually asymptomatic, and is only very rarely associated with life-threatening disease.The incubation period for hepatitis C is 2 weeks to 6 months. Following initial infection, approximately 80% of people do not exhibit any symptoms. Those who are acutely symptomatic may exhibit fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-coloured faeces, joint pain and jaundice (yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes).
Hepatitis C caused due to contact with contaminated blood or needles used to inject illegal drugs or draw tattoos. Sometimes you don't get any symptoms, or just mild ones. But in some cases hepatitis C leads to cirrhosis, a risky scarring of your liver. HCV infection is diagnosed in 2 steps: Screening for anti-HCV antibodies with a serological test identifies people who have been infected with the virus. If the test is positive for anti-HCV antibodies, a nucleic acid test for HCV RNA is needed to confirm chronic HCV infection.
Each of the hepatitis viruses causes similar liver damage. The inflammatory process is activated throughout the whole liver, and hepatocytes are destroyed by cytotoxic cytokines and natural killer cells, both parts of the inflammatory process. Cellular necrosis takes place. If inflammation affects the periportal areas, cholestasis, or the interruption of the flow of bile takes place. Treatment: Hepatitis C does not always require treatment as the immune response in some people will clear the infection, and some people with chronic infection do not develop liver damage. When treatment is necessary, the goal of hepatitis C treatment is cure.
statistics: Hepatitis C is the leading cause of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer in Argentina, where from 1.5% to 2.5% of adults are infected. Most of the infections were acquired 30–50 years ago. It is estimated that more than half of infected individuals are not aware of their infection. Even though the prevalence in blood donors has decreased to 0.45% at present, many high-prevalence populations still exist, where the reported prevalence ranges from 2.2% to 7.1%.