Hepatitis C is an infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which attacks the liver. The virus is spread through contact with the blood of an infected person, often through sharing needles or other drug-use paraphernalia. It can also be passed from mother to child during birth. Symptoms of hepatitis C include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and joint pain. In some cases, the virus can cause long-term liver damage and even death.