- Hepatitis C is a virus which can lead to inflammation of the liver and cause liver disease, and can even lead to cancer of the liver if left untreated
- Most people are oblivious to the fact they are infected because the liver can still operate when damaged and the virus does not produce any obvious symptoms
- Only once the liver becomes seriously damaged and symptoms occur do people visit their GP where it is diagnosed
- The virus is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, and very rarely through sexual intercourse
- Infection is not passed on through social contact, kissing or sharing food or drink
Two hospitals in the region are part of an NHS investigation launched after it was discovered that a retired obstetrics and gynaecology worker unknowingly had Hepatitis C. Burnley General Hospital and Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport are part of the probe.