Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Toxins, certain medications, autoimmune diseases, heavy alcohol use, bacterial and viral infections can all cause hepatitis. There are at least six different types of viral hepatitis (A-G). The most common types in the United States are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Transmission varies among the different types of viral hepatitis; however, symptoms are the same for all three types of hepatitis (A, B, and C). Symptoms of acute (newly acquired) hepatitis include: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal/stomach pain, dark urine, clay-colored feces, joint pain, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Not everyone will have symptoms when they first become infected with hepatitis A, B, or C.
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections can lead to chronic hepatitis infections, in which case individuals will remain infected. Chronic hepatitis can lead to liver disease and liver cancer. Most people with hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections remain asymptomatic (no symptoms) until the infection progresses and cause complications of the liver.
For more information, please click on the links below:
Georgia Department of Public Health
Epidemiology Program - Viral Hepatitis
2 Peachtree Street NW, 14th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Acute Disease Epidemiology Section: (404) 657-2588
Viral Hepatitis Fax: (404) 657-2608