Viral Hepatitis: A Through E and Beyond
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Several different viruses cause viral hepatitis. They are named the hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E viruses.
All of these viruses cause acute, or short-term, viral hepatitis. The hepatitis B, C, and D viruses can also cause chronic hepatitis, in which the infection is prolonged, sometimes lifelong.
Other viruses may also cause hepatitis, but they have yet to be discovered and they are obviously rare causes of the disease.
Symptoms of Viral Hepatitis
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- low grade fever
- head ache
However, some people do not have symptoms.
Through food or water contaminated by feces from an infected person. This disease is uncommon in the United States.
People at Risk
International travelers; people living in areas where hepatitis E outbreaks are common; and people who live or have sex with an infected person.
There is no vaccine for hepatitis E; the only way to prevent the disease is to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. This means avoiding tap water when traveling internationally and practicing good hygiene and sanitation.
Hepatitis E usually resolves on its own over several weeks to months.