8930 Stanford Blvd
Columbia, MD 21045
8930 Stanford Blvd
Hepatitis C is a disease caused by a virus that infects the liver. The virus, called the Hepatitis C virus or HCV for short, is just one of the hepatitis viruses. The other common hepatitis viruses are A and B, which differ somewhat from HCV in the way they are spread and treated. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 2.7 million people in the United States have chronic Hepatitis C infection
Hepatitis C is spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus – even in microscopic amounts – enters the body of someone who is not infected. The hepatitis C virus can also be transmitted from:
Hepatitis C can range from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to a serious, life-long (chronic) infection. Most people who get infected with the hepatitis C virus develop chronic hepatitis C. More than 50% of people who get infected with the hepatitis C virus develop a chronic infection. (CDC)
Many people with hepatitis do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If symptoms occur with an acute infection, they can appear anytime from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Symptoms of chronic viral hepatitis can take decades to develop. Symptoms of hepatitis can include: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice. (CDC)
Your risk of hepatitis C infection is increased if you:
CDC recommends hepatitis C testing for:
The Health Department offers rapid testing Monday - Friday from 10:00am - 3:00pm. Appointments are preferred, but not required. Call us at 410-313-7500 to make an appointment.
There are several medications available to treat chronic hepatitis C. Current treatments usually involve 8-12 weeks of oral therapy (pills) and cure over 90% of people with few side effects
The Health Department offers linkage to care and case management that will help get you connected witha local provider that can discuss treatment options and start the treatment that is best for you.
Contact Ashley Levin at 410-313-5979 or by email at [email protected].