Today is World Hepatitis Day – we are joining the World Hepatitis Alliance in raising awareness of this silent killer. #FindTheMissingMillions
We’re acting on behalf of over 300 victims of the contaminated blood scandal who were infected with Hepatitis C after blood transfusions. 71 million people around the world are living with chronic HCV so we’ve put together this infographic with helpful information.
You can download a PDF version.
Should I get tested for Hepatitis C?
An estimated 40-50% of those infected with hepatitis C in the UK are still undiagnosed. Many more know they are infected but are reluctant to come forward for treatment, often due to stigma associated with Hep C as well as misconceptions about treatment.
Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact. If you might have had a blood transfusion before 1992, shared unsterilised needles, razors or tooth brushes, or had sex which risks exposure to blood you should speak to your GP to get tested for Hepatitis C.
Surely I would know if I was infected?
The problem for most people is that they are unaware that they have been infected for decades because of the lack of symptoms. As these symptoms are similar to many other short term infections most people are unlikely to seek medical attention. And even when they do, most doctors will not necessarily suspect or test for hepatitis C.
If there’s any chance you may have been infected, Get Tested.
New available treatments are more than 90% successful.
Symptoms of acute infection with hepatitis C
Acute infection: when you first contract the virus, most people do not seem to experience any noticeable symptoms.
25-35% of people experience symptoms, which are normally vague and non-specific.
They can include:
- Slight fever
- Appetite loss
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and eyes
Symptoms of chronic infection with hepatitis C
Chronic infection: the infection is ongoing, you are living with the virus.
Many people with chronic HCV feel absolutely normal and have no symptoms or problems at all for decades.
Others suffer from severe symptoms almost certainly related to the infection.
- ‘Brain fog’ – poor concentration, poor memory and difficulty in completing complex mental tasks
- Chronic fatigue
- Aches and pains
- Pains in the upper part of the abdomen
- Dry eyes, irritable bowel and irritable bladder
- Liver disease – Cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer
This information was gathered from: