Hepatitis C afflicts over 5 million in the United States. Once thought to be incurable, now with simple 8-12 weeks of oral treatment, eradication of the virus is achieved in over 95% of individuals.
Risk factors include:
1. Blood transfusions before 1992
2. Intravenous drug use
3. Tattoos at not reputable places like prisons
4. Multiple sexual partners
5. Foreign born from endemic areas
In up to 30% of cases in suburban United States no obvious risk factor is found. The illness slowly damages the liver over 20-40 years laying down scar tissue causing fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. With timely treatment the damage can be halted and, even over a period, the liver can show improvement. If you have the above-mentioned risk factors, please ask your primary care
physician to run a simple blood test.