Hepatitis C infection does not cause symptoms in many of the infected cases. These people may never realise that they have been infected. Symptoms may occur a few weeks after being infected. About 1 in 4 people after infection develop symptoms during the initial first six months, this stage is known as acute hepatitis C. In many people the initial symptoms are non-specific and often similar to flu.
Symptoms of acute hepatitis C infection
Symptoms of chronic hepatitis C infection
According to research in many people the immune system can successfully kill of the hepatitis C virus and eliminate the infection. These people experience no further symptoms (unless they become infected again) after resolution of acute symptoms. In some cases virus is not eliminated and persists inside the body for many years. This is known as chronic hepatitis.
Symptoms of hepatitis C vary from person to person. Some people may have minimal symptoms where as others may have significant impact on quality of life. In some cases the symptoms subside for long periods of time (remission) and then return.
Some of the common symptoms of chronic hepatitis C include:
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