Doctor insights on:
How Long Do You Live With Hepatitis C
Hepatitis c is a virus that replicates (makes copies of itself) in the human liver. People can be infected by exposure to even very small amounts of blood. Over 20 to 40 years it can cause scarring of the liver, and severe scarring is called cirrhosis. People can be tested for exposure with an antibody test. If that is positive, they need a test for the virus itself ...Read more
Depends: A person may eliminate the virus naturally and have a normal life span. Successful treatment may eliminate the virus and restore normal life span. A person with persisitent infection and other risk factors, such as alcoholism, other liver infections may develop cirrhosis and or liver cancer and have his/her life shortend by decades. ...Read more
Depends: It all depends on how much liver scarring they already have, how old they are, how long they have had hcv infection, and whether they have any conditions that accelerate scarring like alcohol use or hiv. Men who have had hcv infection for more than 40 years have a 70% chance of cirrhosis. About one third of people with hcv will die from it ( as opposed to all the other things that can get us). ...Read more
Doesn't matter: Nobody ever catches the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by contact in the environment -- i.e. no risk from contact with infected surfaces, towels, doorknobs, or anything esle. So it doesn't matter how long the virus can survive on these things. The household contacts of people with hep C never catch it themselves if they don't share drug injection equipment or otherwise have major exposures to blood. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Your call: You can be tested whenever you want. If you have risk factors (body fluid/sexual contact with a known infected person, or IV drug use, etc) than get tested. Otherwise, hepatitis is not a routine test to get. If you just want to know if you have hepatitis, volunteer to donate blood at your local red cross, and they will test you for several diseases (including hepatitis) for free as a screen. ...Read more
Up to 4 days: According to the cdc it can survive outside the body from 16 hours to 4 days. ...Read more
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