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Hepatitis is an infectious disease characterized by inflammation and degeneration of liver cells.  There is 2 types of hepatitis- Viral and drug-induced hepatitis.


  • Acute Viral Hepatitis: Acute viral hepatitis is widespread inflammation of the liver and is caused by hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E.
  • Hepatitis A virus (HAV) or Infective hepatitis-It is extremely contagious and is the most common cause of acute viral hepatitis. It is generally a virus transmitted via the fecal-oral route through contaminated drinking water, food, and sewage. Anorexia is the most frequent symptom and it can be severe.
  • Hepatitis B (Serum Hepatitis or HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV)- HBV and HCV can lead to chronic and carrier states. Chronic active hepatitis can also develop leading to cirrhosis and liver failure. HBV and HCV are transmitted via blood, blood products, semen, and saliva. For example, they can spread from contaminated needles, blood transfusions, open cuts or wounds, splashes of blood into the mouth or eyes, or sexual contact.
  • Hepatitis D Virus (HDV) – HDV causes a chronic form of hepatitis which is dependent on the HBV for the survival and propagation in humans. It may be a coinfection (occurring at the same time as HBV) or a superinfection (superimposing itself on the HBV carrier).
  • Hepatitis E virus (HEV)- Rare, is an acute form which is transmitted via the oral fecal route.
  • Hepatitis G/GB – HGV and a virus labeled GBV-C appear to be variants of the same virus. Although HGV infection is present in a significant proportion of blood donors and is transmitted through blood transfusions, it does not appear to cause liver disease.



  • Drug-induced Hepatitis: It may be due to a reaction to certain drugs like sulfa or penicillin or the effect of toxic chemicals like carbon tetrachloride, heroin, alcohol, marijuana etc.



Symptoms of acute viral hepatitis are divided into Four Phases.


  • First Phase - Prodromal Phase- Affects approximately 25% of patients causing fever, arthralgia, arthritis, rash, and angioedema.
  • Second Phase- Preicteric phase- In this phase symptoms like fatigue, myalgia, anorexia, nausea, fatigue, malaise, and vomiting occur. Some patients complain of epigastric or right upper quadrant pain.
  • Third Phase- Icetric Phase- In this phase Jaundice appears
  • Fourth Phase- Convalescent phase- In this phase jaundice and other symptoms begin to subside. Generally, the symptoms may subside after 2-8 weeks though complete recovery may take long.


Complete recovery is expected in more than 95% of hepatitis A cases, in  90% of acute hepatitis B cases, but in only 15% to 50% of acute hepatitis C cases. 


This is Copyright Content by Gadge's Diabetes Care Edited and written by Madiha Khan

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