Hepatitis C may lead to serious liver disease. There are no vaccines against hepatitis C, but the disease can be treated. Hepatitis C, which is caused by a virus, is different from hepatitis A and hepatitis B. In the Netherlands the number of people infected with hepatitis C is estimated to be between 15,000 and 60,000. Most of the sufferers do not know that they have the disease.One of the special characteristics of hepatitis C is that it is usually unnoticeable in the initial stages because there are almost no physical complaints. However, over the long run the hepatitis C virus can seriously affect the liver, causing liver failure, liver cancer and death. It may take up to 30 years after having become infected before sufferers start experiencing physical complaints, which is sometimes too late for treatment.
Since recently, medical treatment against hepatitis C has improved considerably. If the virus is discovered in time, much can be done to prevent serious damage to your liver. You can also prevent people in your daily environment from becoming infected. That is why it is very important for you to know whether you are infected with hepatitis C or not.