Hepatitis In Brief
Hepatitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the liver.
The three common types of hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C (Hep A, Hep B and Hep C), caused by HAV, HBV and HCV respectively.
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis C are contracted by contact with fecal material from an infected person, for example, if someone who is currently infected with the virus visits the toilet without washing their hands, there is a risk of passing on the infection due to poor hygiene.
Hepatitis B is contracted through contact with body fluids from a person who is suffering from the virus, or who is a carrier.
Hepatitis may also be spread via vertical transmission from mother to newborn baby.
Most people who contract Hepatitis will recover spontaneously although this may take many months or even years.
A percentage (approx. 10%) of people who contract Hepatitis will develop the chronic form of the disease and it will remain with them for life.
Hepatitis is incurable although those at risk may be vaccinated against Hep A and Hep B. There is no vaccination against Hep C.