Hepatitis C can be 30 times more infectious than HIV.
The virus is spread by contact with infected blood.
Some non-specific symptoms of chronic disease may include ongoing flu-like symptoms, joint pains, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, changed bowel habits, mood swings and insomnia.
Complications of chronic hepatitis C include cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
One in three homeless persons in Ireland is hepatitis C positive, compared to about one in 10,000 in the general population.The acute stage of infection therefore tends to go unnoticed.10 From acute to chronic Chronic infection occurs in 70-80pc of adults acutely infected.Up to 20pc of people clear the virus from their bodies naturally - 'spontaneous clearance'.If an antibody test is positive, a second test will check if the virus is still present.