Nurses are coming to a location near you to encourage you to know your Hepatitis C status. Being treated sooner can help prevent against further health conditions.

World Hepatitis Day is on Thursday 28th July and the team are using the opportunity to spend some time travelling across the county to provide free Hep C tests.

Helen McConnell, Hepatitis C Associate for the nursing team at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and said:

“Hepatitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the liver and is usually the result of a viral infection or liver damage caused by drinking alcohol. However, you could contract it simply by sharing a toothbrush or having unprotected sex.

“We are trying to get more people tested because many do not realise they have been at risk or are infected. The more people we can test the more we can treat and prevent further health problems such as liver failure, cirrhosis (liver scarring) and liver cancer.”

Hepatitis C often does not have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged.

This means many people have the infection without realising it.

When symptoms do occur, they can be mistaken for another condition. If symptoms do develop, they usually occur a few weeks after infection. Symptoms may include:

  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • tummy (abdominal) pains
  • feeling and being sick

The only way to know for certain if you have hepatitis C is to get tested. The test involves a quick finger prick test and our staff will be able to give you expert confidential advice there and then if you have the virus.

Helen added: “15 to 30% of people will fight off the infection in the initial phase and be free of the virus. In the remaining cases, it'll stay in the body for many years. Although there's currently no vaccine available, Chronic Hepatitis C can be treated with very effective antiviral medications.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has committed eradicating Hepatitis C by 2030 so by testing (and treating) as many people as possible, we can make this happen.”

Are you a risk of contracting Hepatitis C? Some of the risks are:

  • Blood transfusion or blood products prior to 1991 in the UK
  • Tattoo or body piercing abroad
  • snorting or injecting drugs (including steroids) – even if it was only once
  • Born in or have you had a medical procedure in an area which has a higher prevalence of blood borne viruses (Such as Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa)
  • Have you had unprotected sex with anyone who is known to have HIV, Hepatitis B or C, or might be at risk for any of the reasons listed here?
  • Any other blood to blood contact such as sharing razors or toothbrushes

Hepatitis C is treatable – Treatment is provided by the Viral Hepatitis Service run by North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust. Treatment is well tolerated and usually 1 tablet a day for 8-12 weeks

Don’t guess, know for sure whether your Hep C free or not by popping along to see the team at one of the following:




Wednesday 20th July 2022

2pm until 4pm


Frizington Library, Main Street

Monday 25th July 2022

10am until 12noon


Workington Recovery Steps Cumbria,

6 Finkle Street

1pm until 3pm


Whitehaven Recovery Steps Cumbria,

21b Lowther Street

Tuesday 26th July 2022

10am until 12 midday


Egremont Market Hall,

Market Street

1pm until 3pm

Cleator Moor

Cleator Moor Library,

Market Square

Wednesday 27th July 2022

10am until 2pm


Recovery Steps Cumbria, Stocklund House, Castle Street

Thursday 28th July 2022

10am until 1pm


Brampton Community Centre,

Union Lane

2pm until 4pm


Longtown Community Centre, Arthuret Road

Friday 29th July 2022

10am until 1pm


Alston Town Hall, Front Street