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Hepatitis C

by Advanced GI WA

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Hepatitis C is thought to be the most common cause of chronic hepatitis and affects about 1% of the Australian community.

People acquire hepatitis C by contact with infected blood. It is commonly spread through sharing unsterile needles, syringes and other injecting drug equipment. Some people contracted hepatitis C through blood transfusion or receiving infected blood products before they were effectively screened in the 1990s.

Hepatitis C is chronic when the body cannot get rid of the hepatitis C virus. Although some people clear the virus from their bodies in a few months, many hepatitis C infections become chronic.

Without treatment, chronic hepatitis C can cause scarring of the liver or cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. There is currently no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C infection.

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