While hep C is often associated with illicit drug use and blood transfusions, in the study it showed that nearly half of those infected had neither of these risk factors. The symptoms of chronic infections include joint pain, numbness, muscle pain, itching and dry eyes/mouth/etc syndrome. In fact, apparently some authorities believe that all people with unexplained itching should be screened for hepatitis.
Fortunately spontaneous resolution of the infection often occurs within 20-40 percent, but on the down side about 70% of people who do develop hepatitis do end up with it chronically. Chronic hep C can frequently be asymptomatic, even by the aforementioned labs, the long term consequence of hepatitis can be the development of scar tissue in the liver (cirrhosis). And because the liver participates in so many functions in the body, cirrhosis has many detrimental effects.
The CDC now recommends that everyone between the ages of 45-65 should be screened for Hep C at least once.
Have you been screened?