About hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. You can get it from the blood of someone who has hepatitis C.
It can cause swelling and scarring of the liver and serious liver damage. It can also cause other health problems such as constant fatigue (extreme tiredness) and joint pains.
Hepatitis C is sometimes called a silent disease. This is because you might not realise you have it. You may not have any symptoms and feel OK. You may also have flu-like symptoms that can be mistaken for another illness.
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but there is a cure.
Hepatitis C virus
The virus can survive outside the body in patches of dried blood for 16 to 96 hours at room temperature.
A small trace of blood can cause an infection once it is inside the body.
Around 600 or 700 people find out they have hepatitis C every year. There are as many as 30,000 people in Ireland living with hepatitis C.