Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a hepatitis C virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. Hepatitis C can be either acute or chronic, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus and the most common modes of infection are through exposure to small quantities of blood. This may happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
Hepatitis C signs and symptoms include:
- Bleeding easily
- Bruising easily
- Poor appetite
- Yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes
- Dark-colored urine
- Itchy skin
- Fluid buildup in your abdomen
- Swelling in your legs
- Weight loss
- Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech
- Spider-like blood vessels on your skin
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