Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

Hepatitis C Virus Structure.
Hepatitis C Virus Structure.

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is also a significant cause of severe liver damage and death.

Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infection disease. Deaths associated with hepatitis C reached 18,153 in 2016, according to surveillance data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 3.5 million Americans are currently living with hepatitis C and roughly half are unaware of their infection. Approximately 1 to 5% of people infected with hepatitis C virus die as a result of the long-term damage caused to the liver and body.

Approximately 70%-80% of people with acute Hepatitis C do not have any symptoms. Some people, however, can have mild to severe symptoms soon after being infected, including:

Graph showing the incidence of acute hepatitis C by year in the United States between 2001-2016.
Incidence of acute HCV
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomitting
  • abdominal pain
  • dark urine
  • clay-colored bowel movements
  • joint pain
  • jaundice (yellow color in the skin or eyes)

Click here to view the CDC fact sheet for Hepatitis C. (PDF)