Q:

What is the prognosis of someone with the first stages of hepatitis C?

A:

Quick Answer

Approximately 15 to 20 percent of people who contract hepatitis C recover with no long-term damage, and about 20 percent of hepatitis C sufferers develop cirrhosis of the liver over a 15 to 20 year period, according to Healthline. Other people find that symptoms clear up on their own.

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Full Answer

An infected person in the early stages of hepatitis C may suffer from symptoms such as mild jaundice, fatigue, loss of appetite or may be asymptomatic, according to Healthline. After the first six months of the disease have passed, patients with strong immune systems recover, while others develop a chronic infection that ultimately causes liver damage.

Early hepatitis C is typically treated with a combination of simeprevir, sofosbuvir, interferon and ribavirin, as WebMD explains. Although these drugs don't get rid of the virus, they are often successful at getting rid of all symptoms.

Because hepatitis C often presents with no symptoms initially, many people with the disease have no idea that they are infected. Often the presence of the infection is only discovered when a blood test is being done for some other reason, as Healthline explains. However, chronic, untreated hepatitis C can end in cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer or some other version of liver failure.

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