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Author Topic: Acute vs. Chronic Hepatitis C  (Read 6441 times)

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Offline Hep Editors

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    • Hep Mag
Acute vs. Chronic Hepatitis C
« on: December 08, 2015, 03:08:12 pm »
Being infected with HCV does not necessarily mean that chronic liver disease will occur. What's more, it can take several years—decades, in many cases—for HCV to cause life-threatening liver disease.

A quick overview: Soon after HCV enters the body, it infects cells in the liver called hepatocytes. Only about 25% of people actually experience symptoms of infection, such as fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea or jaundice. However, the majority of people infected with HCV do have an increase in liver enzymes—such as alanine aminotransferase (a.k.a ALT)—that can be detected by a simple blood test. An increase in ALT means that some liver cells are damaged by the HCV infection.

Then, about 15-25% of percent of people infected with HCV are able to clear the virus from their bodies WITHOUT TREATMENT, usually within six months after becoming infected. Infants and young women are more likely to clear HCV spontaneously. However, the majority of people infected with HCV will go on to have "chronic" hepatitis C—an infection that can stay with them for life unless they are treated.

For more information on the nitty-gritty of this distinction, as well as hepatitis C progression over time, read this: http://www.hepmag.com/articles/2619_18751.shtml


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