Hepatitis is a very common infection in the United States, and there are several forms of it. Acute and chronic hepatitis are the most common. The disease can affect the liver and can be spread through sexual contact, bodily fluids, or food. To prevent the disease, individuals should practice good personal hygiene and limit their exposure to infected individuals. They should also avoid risky activities, such as sharing drinks, kissing, and sexual intercourse.
The symptoms of long-term hepatitis may not be obvious until the liver is severely damaged, but they can include jaundice, swelling of the legs, confusion, and blood in the urine and stools. People who have hepatitis A usually develop chronic infection. Infection is highly contagious and is spread by sexual intercourse, using contaminated needles, or through drug-injection equipment. It is possible for people to become chronically infected after a short period of time, and the risk is higher for children than for adults.
Infections of the liver can lead to hepatitis. Inflammation and damage to the liver can impair the organ’s function. Viral hepatitis is a common cause of hepatitis, but it can also be caused by certain drugs, environmental toxins, and medical conditions. Hepatitis A is typically transient and passes within a few months, but it can result in serious problems for a patient.