4. The hepatitis C virus is spread by contact with infected blood.
Healthcare workers accidentally stuck with contaminated needles and babies born to hepatitis-infected mothers are among those at risk, the CDC says. Transmission during sex is possible, but risk is low. Sharing needles for drug use or getting tattoos or piercings using unsterile equipment are the typical ways of getting a new hepatitis C infection today, says Graham. However, if you received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992, when the blood supply was not screened, you are also at risk for hepatitis C.