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What are the early symptoms of hepatitis C?

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Quick Answer

Although many people will not present symptoms early on, some individuals in the first stages of hepatitis C, or HCV, can experience appetite loss, tiredness, slight fever, achy muscles and nausea, reports the Illinois Department of Public Health. If symptoms appear in the early stages of hepatitis C, they can manifest from two weeks up to six months after exposure to the virus, reports the American Liver Foundation.

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Full Answer

In the later stages of hepatitis C, a person can have symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, jaundice, pale stools and urine that is very dark in color. Acute and chronic hepatitis are the two common forms of hepatitis, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or NIDDK. Although these symptoms may manifest in some people, nearly 70 to 80 percent of people infected with acute hepatitis do not present symptoms after being infected, relates the American Liver Foundation.

Hepatitis C is a condition that can be transmitted through sharing drug needles, transfusions and sexual contact. However, there are other ways to contract this disease caused by the hepatitis C virus, explains the Illinois Department of Health. For example, a mother who has HCV can pass it on to her newborn.

To diagnose HCV, a blood test can be used. Treatment options can include medications for chronic hepatitis C and a liver transplant for severe liver damage, relates NIDDK.

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