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Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Several different viruses cause viral hepatitis. They are named the 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. Symptoms of viral hepatitis include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low grade fever, and headache.

Who is at Risk?

Risk groups depend on the type of hepatitis - A, B, C, D, or E. They include: people who have household contacts of infected persons, sex contacts of infected persons, persons traveling to countries where hepatitis is common, men who have sex with men, injecting and non-injecting drug users, persons with multiple sex partners or diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease, infants born to infected mothers, health care and public safety workers, hemodialysis patients, recipients of clotting factors made before 1987, recipients of blood and/or solid organs before 1992, and people with undiagnosed liver problems.

Sources: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, About, Inc.

Recent Hepatitis Research and News at The Scripps Research Institute

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