What are the Signs & Symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Most people (about 70% – 80%) with an acute Hepatitis C infection do not experience any symptoms or show signs of the infection.  If Hepatitis C symptoms do occur, they usually appear within two weeks to six months after being exposed to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). If you do develop symptoms related to Hepatitis C, they’re generally mild and flu-like and may include:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Sore muscles
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea or poor appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine
  • A yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes, called jaundice.

Since most people with acute Hepatitis C go on to develop chronic Hepatitis C – meaning the virus has remained in your body for 6 months or longer – and still have no Hep C symptoms, it’s common to have the infection for 15 years or longer before being diagnosed.

This page has been reviewed September 2015.