Hepatitis is a general term for inflammation of the liver. Normally, the liver breaks down waste products in your blood. But when the liver is inflamed, it doesn’t do a good job of getting rid of waste products. This causes waste products to build up in your blood and tissues. Many different things can cause hepatitis. The most common cause of hepatitis is infection with one of the 5 hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, or E).
What are the symptoms?
After you have been exposed to the virus, it can take from 2 to 7 weeks before you see any signs of it. Symptoms usually last for about 2 months but may last longer.
Common symptoms are:
Types of hepatitis
Hepatitis A (Hep A) is liver inflammation caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A is very contagious. This means that you can easily catch the virus from someone or give it to another person.
Hepatitis B (also called Hep B) is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. The virus is usually spread from person to person through contact with blood and/or body fluids of someone who has the infection.
Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus. It is spread from person to person through contact with blood. Most people who are infected with hepatitis C don’t experience any symptoms for years. However, hepatitis C usually is a chronic illness.