What Is Chronic Hepatitis C?

In chronic hepatitis C, the virus stays in the body and may be silently damaging the liver over a long period of time (several years or more).

Someone with chronic hepatitis C:

  • May have no signs or symptoms of liver disease
  • May not feel sick and may think there is no need to go to the doctor
  • At later stages, may have symptoms like:
    • Muscle or joint pains
    • Loss of appetite
    • Dark urine
    • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Chronic hepatitis C can cause serious liver damage, including:

  • Cirrhosis (sir-RO-sis)—severe scarring of the liver
  • Liver failure
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