is caused by the hep C virus (HCV)
spreads when the blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected
begins as an acute infection (lasting less than 6 months)
becomes chronic (long-lasting) in more than half of people who become infected
often doesn't present any symptoms, but can lead to serious health complications
can be cured
Chronic inflammation can lead to fibrosis, which is the first stage of liver scarring.
Once you have hepatitis C, the virus constantly replicates, making copies of itself ABOUT A TRILLION TIMES EVERY DAY.
The new copies of the virus continue to attack the liver cells, causing inflammation which can lead to scarring, liver damage, cirrhosis, and potentially even liver cancer.
can lead to
(more scar tissue
than liver tissue)
Why is the liver
The liver is the second largest organ in the body and carries out many functions to help keep you healthy. The liver’s main function is to clean your blood of toxins by producing bile to break down fat into energy. In hep C, liver scarring (fibrosis) can prevent the liver from doing its job.
The liver is about the size of a football, reddish in color, and located below your lungs, above your stomach.
Liver inflammation may be present
Scar tissue is present
Scar tissue starts to connect
Scar tissue has spread to the point where structure is affected
The liver is taken over by scar tissue and may not be able to do its job