About 4 million Americans are infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and many do not even know it. Anyone can get infected with HCV, including children.

Parents need to be aware of HCV because some groups of children are at risk of infection. Read on to find out more about HCV, the symptoms of infection, how HCV is spread, who is at risk, long-term effects, and treatments.

Hepatitis C virus is a virus that can cause liver disease. Although most people recover from the initial phase of HCV infection, up to 80% of them may develop evidence of chronic liver infection that may lead to much more serious liver problems and possibly death. Hepatitis C virus is the cause of approximately 10,000 deaths each year in the United States.

Infection with HCV usually begins as nothing more than a mild flulike illness (although many babies and children show no symptoms)....

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