Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. No vaccines exist, but both acute and chronic hepatitis C can be treated.
Acute Hepatitis C is a short-term illness, occurring within the first 6 months of exposure. For most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection.
Chronic Hepatitis C is a long-term illness, which occurs when the hepatitis C virus remains in the body. It can lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer.
Without timely treatment, up to 85 percent of acute infections will become chronic infections.