Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. Most people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms. In fact, most people don't know they have the hepatitis C infection until liver damage shows up, decades later, during routine medical tests.
Hepatitis C is one of several hepatitis viruses and is generally considered to be among the most serious of these viruses. Hepatitis C is passed through contact with contaminated blood — most commonly through needles shared during illegal drug use.An estimated 170 million individuals worldwide including an estimated 250,000 in Canada are infected.
There has been enormous progress made in treating chronic Hepatitis C and these treatments are highly effective however they can be cost prohibitive. Hepatitis C, although treatable, can re-occur if precautions against infection are not followed, there is no immunity to Hepatitis C even after successful treatment. Consult with your primary care physician to determine the best course of action.
For more information on Hepatitis C and links to Provincial Health coverage please click here