Nickname: Hep C or HCV
Signs & Symptoms: Fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellow color to the skin and the eyes, dark-colored urine (Many people with Hep C show no symptoms of infection)
Spread: By sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment by IV drug users; needlestick injuries in healthcare settings if the patient had Hep C; can be spread by piercing or tattoo needles especially among prison inmates.
Who is at risk: IV drug users; persons who spend many years on kidney dialysis; piercing or tattoos done with non-sterile instruments; health care workers injured by needles or sharps used on Hep C-positive patients; HIV-infected persons or children born to mothers infected with HCV.
Prevention: Never use illegal drugs; make sure tattoo artist or person doing ear or body piercing uses sterile instruments; careful handling of needles and sharps in healthcare settings