The celebrities below were all surprised and dismayed when they were diagnosed with hepatitis C, or other liver damage. Some were at risk, because of a past that included intravenous drug use, but many individuals have to speculate about their exposure to the virus. The disease is often called the “sleeping dragon,” because it can take decades for symptoms to appear, and sometimes warning signs never become apparent. During the infection’s apparent dormancy period, irreparable liver damage can occur. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently advises that baby boomers, born between 1945 and 1965, get tested for hepatitis C.
Pamela Anderson, known from her role on Baywatch, contracted hepatitis C when she shared a tattoo needle with her infected ex-husband, Tommy Lee. Hepatitis C is the most serious form of Hepatitis, and in 20% of the cases, the inflammation leads to cirrhosis, liver failure, and death. In the early stages of the disease, there can be few, if any symptoms, but Hepatitis C causes chronic hepatitis. Pamela Anderson has lived with the disease for years, and according to her publicist, her health is currently fine.