Infectious agent: Hepatitis C virus
Description of illness: Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Acute Hepatitis C occurs during the first several months after a person is infected. Many people with acute Hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If symptoms occur, they can include: fever, feeling tired, not wanting to eat, upset stomach, throwing up, dark urine, grey-colored stool, joint pain, and yellow skin and eyes. Most people who get infected are not able to clear the virus and go on to develop chronic infection. Over time, chronic Hepatitis C infection can lead to serious illness including liver disease, liver failure, and liver cancer.