How Long Can Hep C Go Undetected?

Can Hep C lay dormant for years?

Millions of people who are infected do not.

Although she has been carrying the virus in her blood for 40 years, she is only now beginning to notice symptoms, including headache, fatigue, and joint pain.

That delay between infection and onset is typical of hepatitis C, which can lie dormant in the body for decades..

How long does Hep C take to damage liver?

On average it takes about twenty years for significant liver scarring to develop. The symptoms experienced and the damage done to the liver vary dramatically from person to person. Some people will have few, if any, symptoms for many years.

Can you have hep C for 40 years and not know it?

People with an HCV infection commonly go without noticeable symptoms for as many as 20 to 30 years. Those who are infected experience no significant symptoms when they first acquire the infection, and then they can remain symptomless for years, even while the infection is causing damage to their liver and other organs.

What are the symptoms of chronic hep C?

Signs and symptoms include:Bleeding easily.Bruising easily.Fatigue.Poor appetite.Yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes (jaundice)Dark-colored urine.Itchy skin.Fluid buildup in your abdomen (ascites)More items…•

Can Hep C show up years later?

Some people may develop hepatitis C symptoms within two weeks of infection. Others might experience a longer delay before noticing symptoms. It could take from 6 months to 10 years or more before someone with the virus becomes aware of any symptoms.

Can Hep C come back after being cured?

Infection relapse. It’s possible, but rare, for hepatitis C infection to reappear after apparently successful treatment. Relapses usually occur in the first few months after blood testing to confirm that the virus is no longer detectable. Sometimes, however, a relapse becomes evident much later.

Can Hep C go away on its own?

Like the human papillomavirus (HPV), early acute hepatitis C can clear on its own without treatment; this happens about 25 percent of the time. However, it’s more likely that the virus will remain in your body longer than six months, at which point it’s considered to be chronic hepatitis C infection.

Can you test negative for Hep C and still have it?

Negative (nonreactive). But sometimes, your negative result can be false, meaning you have HCV. That may happen if you: Took the test too soon after your exposure. This test checks for only HCV antibodies, which can take several months to appear.

Can you have hepatitis and not know it?

It is estimated that 3 ½ to 5 million people have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus. But since the majority of people who are infected with the hepatitis C virus have no symptoms in early stages, more than half of people who have chronic hepatitis C don’t even know they have it.

What does a positive hep C test mean?

A reactive or positive antibody test means you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus at some point in time. Once people have been infected, they will always have antibodies in their blood. This is true if they have cleared the virus, have been cured, or still have the virus in their blood.

Does Hepatitis show up in blood work?

The hepatitis virus panel is a series of blood tests used to detect current or past infection by hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. It can screen blood samples for more than one kind of hepatitis virus at the same time. Antibody and antigen tests can detect each of the different hepatitis viruses.

How do you check for hepatitis?

Tests that can help diagnose hepatitis B or its complications are:Blood tests. Blood tests can detect signs of the hepatitis B virus in your body and tell your doctor whether it’s acute or chronic. … Liver ultrasound. A special ultrasound called transient elastography can show the amount of liver damage.Liver biopsy.