Approximately 70 percent to 80 percent of people with acute hepatitis C have no symptoms. Some people, however, can have mild symptoms soon after becoming infected.
Other symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements and joint pain.
This period can actually range from two weeks to six months, but the average time is six to seven weeks after exposure. Again, however, most people with hepatitis C never develop symptoms.
Even if a person with hepatitis C has no symptoms, they still are able to spread the virus.
Many people with hepatitis C do not look or feel sick, and therefore may have no idea that they have the virus. A blood test is required to determine if a person has ever been infected with hepatitis C and a followup test is needed to see if he or she is still infected.
The symptoms of chronic hepatitis C typically involve liver problems, as there may be no symptoms for many years until liver function and enzyme levels are affected.
Chronic hepatitis C can result in long-term health issues, such as liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer and even death. It is the leading cause for cirrhosis and liver cancer. Roughly 15,000 people die every year from hepatits C-related diseases.