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What is the meaning of "viral load numbers" for hepatitis C?

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Quick Answer

A viral load number is the number of viral particles in the blood stream during a hepatitis C infection or another viral infection, according to WebMD. An undetectable viral load means that the patient is in remission, while any viral load indicates active infection.

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Full Answer

Up to 20 percent of patients naturally clear the hepatitis C virus from their bodies without requiring additional treatment, states WebMD. During diagnosis, a health care professional may choose to test a patient twice, as false negatives are common. This is because a patient's viral load is constantly changing. A patient may test positive for hepatitis C antibodies but have no viral load, meaning that patient is not actually infected.

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