What Are the Symptoms of an HCV Infection?


Quick Answer

The symptoms of HCV or hepatitis C infection include fatigue, muscles aches, fever and loss of appetite, notes MedicineNet. Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes, is a rare but possible early-stage symptom. However, around 75 percent of those infected remain asymptomatic when first acquiring the infection.

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As the condition progresses, people with chronic HCV infections may start to experience symptoms that result from inflammation of the liver, reports MedicineNet. This results from the immune system’s reaction to the HCV. Elevation of liver enzymes may be the first indicator of HCV, and easy fatigue may occur.

As cirrhosis begins to develop, exacerbated symptoms may occur, including weight loss, loss of appetite, weakness and a rash on the palms, notes MedicineNet. Additional symptoms include spider-like blood vessels on the skin and problems with blood clotting. Men may experience breast enlargement.

With advanced cirrhosis, the liver starts to fail, which is a life-threatening condition, advises MedicineNet. Confusion and coma may occur when the liver becomes unable to process toxins. Fluid may build up in the abdominal cavity due to increased blood pressure in the blood vessels and cause engorged veins in the esophagus, resulting in tears and bleeding. This increased pressure also causes kidney failure, enlarged spleen and the development of low platelet counts.

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