When you have hep C, you are not alone—about 3.4 million people are living with hep C in the United States. Hep C is a disease caused by a virus that infects the liver. A hep C infection can result in inflammation of this liver and result in the disease fighting capability to attack healthy liver cells. It could be spread through blood-to-blood contact or when the blood from a person with hep C comes into connection with another person’s blood.
Hepatitis C may be a silent disease, and therefore, people can have it although not have noticeable symptoms—approximately 70%–80% of people with acute hepatitis C do not have any symptoms. Many people, however, might have mild to severe symptoms soon after being infected.
As many individuals do not have any symptoms, they could not understand that they have hepatitis C, and therefore, do not seek treatment. Signs and symptoms of chronic hep C might take years to develop. During this time, the infected person can spread the virus to others.