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Symptoms of acute hep c

I recently had a exposure at work. It was a small cut from a instrument that was being used on a patient who turned out to be hep c positive. i had gloves on but noticed the cut after I took them off. there was not active bleeding. about a week later I started to heve stomach discomfort and a feeling of bloatness with hyperactive bowel sounds. Then 3 weeks later, joint and muscle aches with weekness. I had a hep c antibody test done at 4.5 weeks which was negative. i also had a hcv RNA quant done and it came back normal. My liver function tests were also normal. The muscle aches are gone now but I still feel weeks especially in my legs and arms. Am really anxious too and some people think that my anxiety maybe getting the best of me and creating these symptoms. can anyone tell me what the symptoms of acute hep c are and how long they last? Am due for my 12 week check this week.

6 Responses
87972 tn?1322664839
Most of us are asymptomatic with HCV; we have no idea we’re infected when we’re diagnosed. The folks that do have symptoms include flu-like symptoms, jaundice (yellowing of the skin/eyes), nausea, pale colored stools, etc.

Wikipedia lists these symptoms for acute HCV:

“Symptoms of acute hepatitis C infection include decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching, and flu-like symptoms.”


If you had an acute infection, it’s very likely the RNA test would have detected virus; I tend to agree with the others that you’re dealing with anxiety.

Good luck with the follow up results—


476246 tn?1418874514
There are not many people who experience any symptoms with acute hep c. That's why most people don't know they have it until years later.

The symptoms you have could be from stressing out over it or also because it has been a long winter and people are in general getting tired by this time. Spring is due!!!

I hope you will be negative, if not... please don't despair. Treatment for acutes is very short and you will get by, no matter what way it goes!

Hugs, marcia
Avatar universal
Thank you guys. Your comments are reassuring and am glad we have web sites like these. Will update you after my test results. Hope all turns out well.
Avatar universal
Please help had a needle stick at work with a person who is hcv poss.  also had hcv rna at 4 weeks and that was neg.   could i have tested too soon?  my urine has a lot of blood in it now at week 6.  please help me understand everything
1747881 tn?1546179478
"hcv rna at 4 weeks and that was neg."

How soon after exposure to HCV can HCV RNA be detected by PCR?

HCV RNA appears in blood and can be detected as early as 2–3 weeks after infection.


"could i have tested too soon?  my urine has a lot of blood in it now at week 6"

Blood in urine (hematuria)

In hematuria, your kidneys — or other parts of your urinary tract — allow blood cells to leak into urine. A number of problems can cause this leakage, including:

Urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections may occur when bacteria enter your body through the urethra and begin to multiply in your bladder. Symptoms can include a persistent urge to urinate, pain and burning with urination, and extremely strong-smelling urine. For some people, especially older adults, the only sign of illness may be microscopic blood.
Kidney infections. Kidney infections (pyelonephritis) can occur when bacteria enter your kidneys from your bloodstream or move up from your ureters to your kidney(s). Signs and symptoms are often similar to bladder infections, though kidney infections are more likely to cause fever and flank pain.

A bladder or kidney stone. The minerals in concentrated urine sometimes precipitate out, forming crystals on the walls of your kidneys or bladder. Over time, the crystals can become small, hard stones. The stones are generally painless, and you probably won't know you have them unless they cause a blockage or are being passed. Then, there's usually no mistaking the symptoms — kidney stones, especially, can cause excruciating pain. Bladder or kidney stones can also cause both gross and microscopic bleeding.

Enlarged prostate. The prostate gland — located just below the bladder and surrounding the top part of the urethra — often begins growing as men approach middle age. When the gland enlarges, it compresses the urethra, partially blocking urine flow. Signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) include difficulty urinating, an urgent or persistent need to urinate, and either visible or microscopic blood in the urine. Infection of the prostate (prostatitis) can cause the same signs and symptoms.

Kidney disease. Microscopic urinary bleeding is a common symptom of glomerulonephritis, which causes inflammation of the kidneys' filtering system. Glomerulonephritis may be part of a systemic disease, such as diabetes, or it can occur on its own. It can be triggered by viral or strep infections, blood vessel diseases (vasculitis), and immune problems such as immunoglobulin A nephropathy, which affects the small capillaries that filter blood in the kidneys (glomeruli).

Cancer. Visible urinary bleeding may be a sign of advanced kidney, bladder or prostate cancer. Unfortunately, you may not have signs or symptoms in the early stages, when these cancers are more treatable.
Inherited disorders. Sickle cell anemia — a hereditary defect of hemoglobin in red blood cells — can be the cause of blood in urine, both visible and microscopic hematuria. So can Alport syndrome, which affects the filtering membranes in the glomeruli of the kidneys.

Kidney injury. A blow or other injury to your kidneys from an accident or contact sports can cause blood in your urine that you can see.
Medications. Common drugs that can cause visible urinary blood include aspirin, penicillin, the blood thinner heparin and the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan).

Strenuous exercise. It's not quite clear why exercise causes gross hematuria. It may be trauma to the bladder, dehydration or the breakdown of red blood cells that occurs with sustained aerobic exercise. Runners are most often affected, although almost any athlete can develop visible urinary bleeding after an intense workout.

Avatar universal
Did you test okay in the end?
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