Hepatitis C affects people differently. Many people will experience no symptoms whilst others may experience flu-like symptoms during the acute phase of infection.
Hepatitis C can cause an acute or chronic illness.
An acute infection is one that has lasted for less than 6 months. Many people will not display any symptoms during this time and may not know they have the virus. It is rare for a hepatitis C diagnosis to be made at this time.
Approximately 80% of people who are infected with hepatitis C will go on to develop chronic hepatitis C. Many of these people will not realise they have the disease and may go on to develop liver damage later in their lives.
The table below illustrates the type of symptoms that may be seen at both the acute phase and the chronic phase but often there are no symptoms. Many people may not realise they have the infection and can , unknowingly, pass the infection on to others.