The US National Institute of Health stated on its website (accessed Sep. 29, 2006):

“Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV)….

There are approximately 4 million people in the United States who are infected with hepatitis C (about 1 in 70 to 100 people). Other hepatitis virus infections include hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Each viral hepatitis infection is caused by a different virus.

Many people who are infected with the hepatitis C do not have symptoms. Hepatitis C is often detected during blood tests for a routine physical or other medical procedure. If the infection has been present for many years, the liver may be permanently scarred — a condition called cirrhosis. In many cases, there may be no symptoms of the disease until cirrhosis has developed.

The following symptoms could occur with hepatitis C infection: Jaundice, Abdominal pain (right upper abdomen), Fatigue, Loss of appetite, Nausea, Vomiting, Low-grade fever, Pale or clay-colored stools, Dark urine, Generalized itching, Ascites, Bleeding varices (dilated veins in the esophagus).”

Sep. 29, 2006