South Florida Care Center
Infectious Disease Specialists & Primary Care Practice located in Pompano Beach, FL & Fort Lauderdale, FL
Hepatitis C is the most common chronic viral infection in the United States, affecting more than 2.7 million people. People with hepatitis C can have a wide range of symptoms. When undiagnosed and untreated, hepatitis C may cause liver disease and liver failure. The team of infectious disease specialists, including Thierre Alphonse, APRN, and Lazaro Salgado, APRN, at South Florida Care Center offers hepatitis C testing and treatment. Call the office in Pompano Beach or Fort Lauderdale, Florida, or schedule an appointment online today.
Hepatitis C Q&A
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. The virus spreads when you come in contact with blood from someone who is infected with the virus.
Hepatitis C may cause an acute or chronic infection.
Acute hepatitis C
Acute hepatitis C is a short-term infection that causes symptoms lasting no more than six months. In some cases, the body fights off the virus and the infection goes away.
Chronic hepatitis C
When your body is unable to fight off the virus, you develop chronic hepatitis C. This is a lifelong infection that affects more than 75% of people with acute hepatitis C.
Early diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis may prevent this chronic infection.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?
Not everyone with hepatitis C has symptoms. With acute hepatitis C, you may develop symptoms within 1-3 months after infection. Common symptoms of the acute infection include:
- Dark yellow urine
- Gray-colored stool
- Poor appetite
- Joint pain
- Jaundice: Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
With chronic hepatitis C, you might not have any symptoms until you develop complications, which may occur years after your initial infection. Chronic hepatitis C causes liver damage that leads to cirrhosis (hardening of the liver), liver failure, liver cancer, and even death.
Who needs testing for hepatitis C?
The South Florida Care Center team recommends all adults 18-79 get tested for hepatitis C at least once.
They also recommend testing if you have any hepatitis symptoms or engage in activities that increase your risk of infection, such as intravenous (IV) drug use, tattoos or body piercings, or you have HIV.
You may also benefit from hepatitis C testing if you have a history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or have more than one sexual partner over a six-month period.
The infectious disease specialists at South Florida Care Center administer a blood test to screen for hepatitis C.
What are the treatments for hepatitis C?
The South Florida Care Center team prescribes antiviral medication to treat hepatitis C. These medications cure most cases of chronic hepatitis C.
You may need to take these medications for 8-24 months. The type and length of your treatment depends on the type of hepatitis C you have, the extent of your liver damage, and whether you’ve previously been treated for hepatitis C.
For confidential hepatitis C testing and treatment, call South Florida Care Center, or schedule an appointment online today.