Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a spherical, enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the family flaviviridae. Discovered in 1989, HCV explained 90 percent of non-A non-B (NANB) cases of hepatitis.

  • Hepatitis C virus is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and the prevalence of Hepatitis C virus infection is increasing worldwide.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that more than 170 million individuals throughout the world are infected with HCV.
  • The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 3.9 million (1.8 percent) of Americans have been infected with Hepatitis C, of whom 2.7 million are chronically infected.
  • Infection due to the Hepatitis C virus accounts for 20 percent of all cases of acute hepatitis, an estimated 25,000 new acute infections and 8,000-12,000 deaths each year in the United States.
  • Medical care costs associated with the treatment of HCV infection in the United States are estimated to be more than $600 million per year.
  • Although the number of new HCV infections has declined over the last 20 or more years, chronic Hepatitis C is the most common reason that a person will need to undergo a liver transplant in the U.S.

Askari, MD, PhD, Fred K., Hepatitis C: The Silent Epidemic. Da Capo Press, 2001.

Bruce, Cara and Lisa Montanarelli, The First Year® - Hepatitis C: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. Da Capo Press, 2007.

Buhner, Stephen Harrod, Herbs for Hepatitis C and the Liver. Storey Publishing, 2000.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Hepatitis C Information for the Public" http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/C/index.htm Retrieved February 15, 2011

Cohen, Misha Ruth, Robert G. Gish and Kalia Doner, The Hepatitis C Help Book. St. Martin’s Press, 2001.

Dolan, Mathew, The Hepatitis Handbook. North Atlantic Books, 1999.

Everson, Gregory T., Hedy Weinberg, Living With Hepatitis C: A Survivor’s Guide. Hatherleigh Press, 1998.

Heathcote, Jenny, Colina Yim, Quynh Thai and Averell Sherker, Living with Hepatitis C: Everything You Need to Know.
Firefly Books, 2003.

Maddrey, Willis C., Conquering Hepatitis C. B.C. Decker Inc., 2000.

Palmer, MD, Melissa. Dr. Melissa Palmer’s Guide to Hepatitis & Liver Disease. New York: Avery Trade, 2004.

Washington, Harriet A., Living Healthy with Hepatitis C. Dell Publishing, 2000.

The American Liver Foundation. "Hepatitis C" http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/hepatitisc/ Retrieved February 15, 2011