cute hepatitis C
Symptoms may begin 2 weeks to several months after initial infection
Most individuals may not have any symptoms whatsoever but if a liver function test is done, it may show evidence of liver inflammation (elevated liver enzymes)
Individuals who do develop symptoms may experience fever, fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), tea-coloured urine, nausea, right sided abdominal pain, joint pains
Chronic hepatitis C
In 75-85% of infected individuals, the hepatitis C infection persists long term
Most individuals with chronic hepatitis C do not have symptoms but liver function blood tests may show evidence of ongoing liver inflammation
About 10-20% of individuals with chronic hepatitis C will develop liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver with possible impaired liver function)
Individuals with cirrhosis may not show any symptoms until advanced stages of cirrhosis
Individuals with hepatitis C and cirrhosis are at increased risk of liver failure and liver cancer
It is important to note that a lot of infected individuals have NO SYMPTOMS during both the acute infection and chronic phase.