Those who are acutely symptomatic may exhibit fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-coloured faeces, joint pain and jaundice (yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes).Because new HCV infections are usually asymptomatic, few people are diagnosed when the infection is recent.Around 30% (15–45%) of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection without any treatment. The most affected regions are the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region and the WHO European Region, with an estimated prevalence in 2015 of 2.3% and 1.5% respectively.Prevalence of HCV infection in other WHO regions varies from 0.5% to 1.0%.Much more needs to be done in order for the world to achieve the 80% HCV treatment target by 2030.There is no effective vaccine against hepatitis C, therefore prevention of HCV infection depends upon reducing the risk of exposure to the virus in health-care settings and in higher risk populations, for example, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men, particularly those infected with HIV or those who are taking pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV.
In 2017, of the 71 million persons living with HCV infection globally, an estimated 19% (13.1 million) knew their diagnosis, and of those diagnosed with chronic HCV infection, around 5 million persons had been treated with DAAs by the end of 2017.
Depending on the country, hepatitis C virus infection can be concentrated in certain populations.
For example, 23% of new HCV infections and 33% of HCV mortality is attributable to injecting drug use.
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Hepatitis C virus causes both acute and chronic infection. Some persons get acute hepatitis which does not lead to a life-threatening disease.
remain expensive in many high- and upper-middle-income countries.