Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected.
Causes: Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can all cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common hepatitis viruses are hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus.
What is the difference between hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C?
Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are liver infections caused by three different viruses.
- Hepatitis A is usually a short-term infection and does not become a long-term infection.
- Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also begin as short-term infections but in some people, the virus remains in the body, and causes chronic, or lifelong, infection.
There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B; however, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.