Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It is a member of the family of viruses that include hepatitis A and hepatitis B. The viruses behave differently and have different modes of transmission. Hepatitis C can cause serious liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer, and even death.
How Common Is Hepatitis C?
About 2.7-3.9 million people in the U.S. currently live with chronic hepatitis C infection. 75%-85% of people infected with hepatitis C are infected with chronic hepatitis C. The virus is most common in baby boomers who represent 75% of infected adults. The rates of hepatitis C were the highest in the 1970s and 1980s, the time when many baby boomers were likely infected. Many people who have hepatitis C don’t know they have it because the virus may not produce symptoms until decades after infection. (more…)