Hepatitis C is
a liver disease that is caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus, a virus
that lives in your liver cells.
How it spreads
get hepatitis C from casual contact such as hugging, kissing, sneezing,
coughing, or sharing food or water with someone. You can
get hepatitis C if you come into contact with the blood of someone who has
The most common way to get hepatitis C is by sharing
needles and other equipment (such as cotton, spoons, and water) used to inject
illegal drugs. If you are injecting drugs, the best way to protect yourself is
by not sharing needles or other equipment with others. Many cities have needle
exchange programs that provide free, sterile needles so that you do not have to
share needles. If you want to stop using drugs, ask your doctor or someone you
trust to help you get into a drug treatment program.
people could get hepatitis C through blood transfusions and organ transplants.
Since 1992, all donated blood and organs are screened for hepatitis C, so it is
now rare to get the virus this way.
In rare cases, a mother with
hepatitis C spreads the virus to her baby at birth, or a health care worker is
accidentally exposed to blood that is infected with hepatitis C.
Experts are not sure whether you can get hepatitis C through sexual
contact. If there is a risk of getting the virus through sexual contact, it is
very small. Your risk is especially low if you are in a long-term, monogamous
If you live with someone who has hepatitis C or you
know someone with hepatitis C, you generally do not need to worry about getting
the disease. You can help protect yourself by not sharing anything that may
have blood on it, such as razors, toothbrushes, and nail clippers.
Contagious and incubation periods
period is the time it takes for symptoms to appear after the hepatitis C virus
has entered your body, and it is any time from 2 weeks to 6 months.
Anyone who has hepatitis C can spread the virus to someone else. If
testing shows you have hepatitis C, do not share needles. And keep cuts,
scrapes, and blisters covered.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Thanks for your feedback.
6 of 6 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Hepatitis C-Cause WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
© 1995-2011 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.