American Liver Foundation: North NJ · Central/South NJ
Fact Sheet · Check Your Risk · Hepatitis B · Hepatitis C: NJ Drug Use · Ages 52 -72
Source: Centers for Disease Control
“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 most often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
Vaccines have resulted in a more than 90% decrease in new cases of Hepatitis A. Hepatitis B is a leading cause of liver cancer, especially among Asian-Americans. 75% of adults infected with Hepatitis C were born from 1945 – 1965.sick.
When a person first gets viral hepatitis, he or she can develop a very mild illness with few or no symptoms or get a more serious illness lasting months. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can progress to a chronic, or lifelong, infection that can cause serious health problems including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death.
Many people with hepatitis do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If symptoms occur with an acute infection, they can appear anytime from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Symptoms of chronic viral hepatitis can take decades to develop. Symptoms of hepatitis can include: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice.