Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver which is caused by viruses, drugs, or alcohol. Although there are five types of viral hepatitis, we normally concern ourselves with only three of them.
Hepatitis A: Highly contagious and is spread through contaminated water and food.
Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is spread by exposure to contaminated blood or needles, through unprotected sex with an infected person, and from an infected mother to baby.
Hepatitis C: HCV can be spread by sexual contact where there is opportunity for blood to be contaminated.
As per 2012 CDC recommendations, you should be screened for HCV if you were born between 1945 and 1965, or if you suspect you have been exposed to the virus.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
- Fatigue, nausea & vomiting
- Flu like symptoms
- Darkening of urine
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
Hepatitis virus is tested using blood samples.