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Hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver and
interferes with its normal function. Hepatitis can be caused by infection
(usually by a virus), excessive alcohol use, medicine, or a problem with the
The three most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A,
hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Viral hepatitis is contagious. All three types of
viral hepatitis (A, B, and C) can be spread through contact with body fluids. Hepatitis A can also spread when people consume food or water contaminated by
stool (feces) containing the virus.
Symptoms of hepatitis can last for weeks to months. They
Some types of hepatitis can cause serious, long-term complications,
such as severe and permanent liver damage.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
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