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      Hepatitis C

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Communicable Diseases

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infection caused by the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C can be passed from person to person through exposure to small amounts of infected blood. This can happen when sharing drugs or drug equipment with a person who is infected. Less frequently, hepatitis C can be transmitted during unprotected sex or from a positive pregnant woman to her newborn. Often people with hepatitis C have no symptoms. Some infected people are able to clear the hepatitis C virus on their own, but most people cannot and will require treatment to cure their infection.

Long-term infection can lead to health issues like cirrhosis, liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis C is treated with antiviral drugs, and recent drugs have very high cure rates, shorter treatment durations, and far fewer side effects than older drugs.

Starting in January 2018, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care updated the hepatitis C case definition to distinguish:

  • Newly acquired cases from those who previously acquired hepatitis C, and;
  • Cases who can transmit infection to others from those whose infections have resolved, and therefore are no longer infectious.
Page last reviewed:
Page last updated: 2018-01-31 3:54 PM
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Page updated on [date/time] 2018-01-31 3:54 PM
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