Hepatitis C Symptoms
The groups at greatest risk of acquiring Hepatitis C are:
- People who have had a transfusion before 1992, when highly sensitive screening tests were introduced;
- People that are frequently exposed to blood products;
- Medical staff that can get stung by infected needles;
- Intravenous drug users, including those who have used drugs many years ago;
- Infants born to mothers infected with HCV.
Many patients with chronic Hepatitis C are completely asymptomatic. When symptoms are present, they are usually mild, nonspecific, and intermittent. Symptoms include:
- Tenderness or discomfort in the right hypochondrium (below the ribs on the right);
- Anorexia (loss of appetite);
- Muscle pain;
- Joint pain.
Similarly, physical examination may be normal or may reveal tenderness or a mild hepatomegaly (liver increased in size). Some patients manifest angiomas (red spots in a form of a star) or palmar erythema (red stained palm).