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Hepatitis

Virus-caused liver inflammation

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, caused by viruses. There are several kinds: A, B, C, D and E. Some may be spread by food or water contaminated with human feces, some by contaminated blood transfusions or needles, sexual contact; and in others the cause is unknown. Hepatitis may be mild or severe. If it lasts six months or more, it is considered “chronic.” Types B and C are the most serious.

See a doctor promptly if you think you’ve been exposed to any form of hepatitis.

Symptoms

May cause jaundice, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle or joint pain, and changes in urine and stool color.

Diagnosis

Generally includes a medical history, physical exam and blood tests.

Treatment

May include medications, and other treatments to prevent liver damage.