Inflammation of the liver caused by viruses (viral hepatitis) or by chronic
exposure to medicines or toxins such as alcohol.
Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin caused by the buildup of bile
pigments in the body), fever, appetite loss and gastrointestinal upset.
Hepatitis has many forms, including hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A
virus. Hepatitis A can affect anyone. It is mostly spread through contaminated
food and water.
Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that
attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause
lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver
failure, and death. It is spread through blood or sexual contact.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C
virus (HCV). The virus is carried and passed to others through blood or sexual
contact and can cause liver inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.