Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver that results from the Hepatitis C Virus. Most people who become infected develop a chronic, or lifelong, infection. Over time, chronic Hepatitis C can cause serious health problems including liver disease, liver failure, and even liver cancer. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.
Most people with Hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. Symptoms of a chronic Hepatitis C infection can take decades to develop. When symptoms appear with chronic Hepatitis C, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease.
The only way to know if you have Hepatitis C is to get tested. The rapid test that we'll be using requires a fingerstick to collect a blood sample. Test results are known in 20-40 minutes. A positive Hepatitis C Antibody Test means that a person has been infected with the virus at some point in time. Additional testing is necessary if the antibody is present.
Testing is recommended for certain groups, including people who:
were born from 1945-1965
received donated blood or organs before 1992
have ever injected drugs, even if it was just one time years ago
have certain medical conditions such as liver disease and HIV
have abnormal liver tests or liver disease
have been exposed to blood from a person who has Hepatitis C
are on hemodialysis
are born to a mother with Hepatitis C
The month of May is Hepatitis Awareness month in the United States. The Grundy County Health Department will be offering rapid Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) testing for the first time on May 17!
Please contact our office to make an appointment (660-359-4196). The cost for the test is $20.