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Hepatitis C spreads via sharing needles or sexual contact. This liver infection can turn into a chronic condition. Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology offers diagnosis and treatment for hepatitis C at its offices in Carmel, New York. Call today if you have symptoms or need a hepatitis C test, or use the online tool to schedule.
Hepatitis C is a liver infection that spreads when you come into contact with the blood of a person with the virus. If you come into direct contact with infected fluids – usually via IV drug use (sharing needles) or sexual intercourse – you can contract a hepatitis C infection.
Hepatitis C can be an acute, short-term infection, but in more than half of infected people, the condition turns into a long-term illness. People with chronic hepatitis C are at risk of serious conditions like cirrhosis and liver cancer.
If you have just recently caught hepatitis C, you probably won’t have any symptoms or symptoms are so mild you won’t think to seek care. Symptoms, if they do show up, include:
If you do develop symptoms, it usually happens within 2-12 weeks of exposure.
People with chronic hepatitis C are often asymptomatic. Over time, you’re at risk of developing chronic liver disease. It progresses slowly, over several decades.
Anyone can acquire hepatitis C, but those most at risk include:
People with certain medical conditions and prior recipients of transfusions or organ transplants may also be at risk.
Because hepatitis C often doesn’t cause symptoms until you experience serious complications, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all adults get tested.
The largest group at risk includes everyone born between 1945 and 1965; this population is five times more likely to be infected than other groups.
Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology may recommend administering antiviral medications to try and clear the virus from your body. Advances in medicine make this treatment more effective in a shorter period of time, with fewer side effects.
The type of medication and the length of your treatment depends on the nature of your virus, any liver damage you have, and your current health.
For those who’ve developed serious complications due to hepatitis C, a liver transplant may be needed. After a liver transplant, you may still need antiviral treatment as the transplant doesn’t offer a cure.
If you’re at risk of hepatitis C, contact Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology for an appointment. Call the most convenient location or use the online tool to schedule.