Hepatitis C

Infectious Disease Specialist serving Jacksonville and the surrounding areas

Hepatitis C services offered in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, FL

Hepatitis C is one of the most common viral infections in the United States and is curable if caught early. At Reza Health in Jacksonville, Florida, Mohammed Reza, MD, offers testing and treatment for hepatitis C. If you have concerns about hepatitis C, Dr. Reza can provide the care you need. Call the office or schedule a consultation online today. 

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a virus that causes liver inflammation. The virus may cause acute or chronic infection. 

Acute hepatitis C

Acute hepatitis C is a short-term illness that lasts about six months. The body sometimes fights off the virus, and the infection goes away. However, most people with acute hepatitis develop chronic hepatitis. 

Chronic hepatitis C

Chronic hepatitis C is a long-term infection. When left untreated, the virus damages the liver, causing cirrhosis (liver scarring), liver cancer, or death. 

Early diagnosis and treatment of chronic hepatitis C can reduce your risk of liver damage. 

Who is at risk of getting hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C spreads through blood contact. Risk factors include:

  • Sharing needles
  • Getting tattoos with poorly sterilized tools
  • Sharing razors or toothbrushes
  • Having unprotected sex with someone who has hepatitis C
  • Having more than one sexual partner in a six-month period
  • Testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease (STD)

People with HIV are also at greater risk of getting hepatitis C, as well as men who have sex with men.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?

You can have hepatitis C and not have any symptoms. However, people with acute hepatitis C may have symptoms during the first three months of their infection, such as:

  • Urine that’s darker in color
  • Stool that’s gray or pale
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you have chronic hepatitis C, you may not have any symptoms until there’s severe liver damage, which occurs years after your initial infection. 

Dr. Reza runs a blood test to screen for hepatitis C if you have symptoms or you’re at risk of getting the infection.

What are the treatments for hepatitis C?

Dr. Reza prescribes antiviral medications to treat hepatitis C. These medications attack and destroy the virus, curing you of the infection and preventing complications.

If you test positive for hepatitis C and your infection is in the acute stage, Dr. Reza may wait to see if your body fights off the infection before prescribing the antiviral drugs. 

You take the antiviral medications anywhere from 8-24 weeks. Dr. Reza has you come into the office regularly for monitoring and routine blood tests to see how well the medication is working. 

To get tested and treated for hepatitis C, call Reza Health or schedule an appointment online today.