The majority of people newly infected with hep c will experience no symptoms which is why it is called a silent illness. When symptoms develop if they ever do it would be after many years possibly decades of infection and the symptoms would be those of liver disease. Otherwise the most commonly reported symptom is tiredness.
Hep c is diagnosed with an antibody test which should be performed about 12 weeks after a concerning exposure. A potential exposure would be where the potential for hepatitis c infected blood entering the blood stream of an infected person. Hep c is most often transmitted c by the sharing of IV drug needles or by blood transfusion prior to 1990 when antibody testing was developed and the blood supply secured. Other risk factors is having unprotected sex with multiple sexual partners especially involving rough sexual practices like BDSM or blood sports. Hep c in the setting of long term monogamous couples is not considered to be a risk and such couples are not advised to use condoms or other barrier protection.
If the hep c antibody test performed 12 weeks after an exposure is positive then a second test to confirm current infection is performed. This test is called HCV RNA by PCR which tests for the presence of the actual virus in the blood stream.
Since you only waited 4 weeks to do the antibody test you should repeat the antibody test if you had a risk of having hep c infected blood entering your blood stream. Then if that is positive the next step would be the HCV RNA test.
Liver enzymes are not usually initially elevated. Mine weren’t elevated until I had been infected for 20 years. There are many things that can cause elevations in liver enzymes like being overweight can cause fatty liver disease or taking too much Tylenol.
There are multiple forms of hepatitis. The most common are hepatitis A which is good and water borne related to poor sanitation and hepatitis B and hepatitis C which are both blood borne.
Hepatitis D occurs only among people who are infected with the Hepatitis B virus. Transmission requires contact with infectious blood. At-risk populations include intravenous drug abusers and people who have received multiple blood transfusions.
Hepatitis E is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. While rare in the United States, Hepatitis E is common in many parts of the world. Hepatitis E. is very rare and is mainly transmitted through drinking water contaminated with fecal matter.
Hepa is a medical term from Latin meaning liver and “itis” means inflammation so hepatitis simple means liver inflammation. All these viruses attack the liver so they are called hepatitis viruses meaning viruses that attack and cause liver inflammation.
Hepatitis C core antigen testing for diagnosis of hepatitis C virus infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis. As a result, HCV core antigen has a lower sensitivity for diagnosis of chronic HCV infection (around 90%) but maintains very high specificity (>98%).
The hepatitis C core antigen is a viral protein. Since the core antigen is part of hepatitis C virus, it can usually be found in the bloodstream two weeks after infection. ... Core antigen testing can be used—often with HCV antibody testing—to detect acute HCV or to confirm chronic HCV infection.
The best person to ask about your test results is the doctor who prescribed your testing.
Did you have a risk of hepatitis c infected blood entering your blood stream like sharing drug needles or having an accidental needle stick involving a patient with known hepatitis C if you are a health care worker?
Oops hep A is food and water borne