Acute Hepatitis C Infection (Acute HCV)
Acute Hepatitis C (HCV) is a short-term viral infection that is spread through direct contact with blood or certain bodily fluids containing HCV. The difference between acute and chronic infections is that acute Hepatitis C has a 6-month diagnosable window by a physician following new exposure to and infection by the HCV virus. Acute HCV may be identified with clinical symptoms of acute hepatitis, like jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin.
Acute Hepatitis C leads to chronic infection in about 75-85% of cases, which can then lead to liver damage and cancer. It is estimated that about 40,000 people in the U.S. are acutely infected with hepatitis C. The acute infection causes symptoms ranging from very mild to severe, such as nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Further Gastroenterology research is being done for treatments.