Viral Hepatitis

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis 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:

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis C

Georgia Viral Hepatitis Epidemiologic Profile (2017)

Georgia Viral Hepatitis Resource Directory

Patient Resources

Resources for Health Professionals

Reporting Viral Hepatitis Cases to Public Health



Contact Information:

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



Page last updated October 9,2019