HIV/AIDS

Viral hepatitis

Two children sitting on the floor and playing with cups, Nepal
WHO/Christopher Black

Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by one of the five hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D and E. They are transmitted through different routes: Hepatitis A and E through contaminated food and water; Hepatitis B – through blood and other bodily fluids; Hepatitis C – mostly through blood; and Hepatitis D – serving as an additional infection in the presence of Hepatitis B. These viruses all cause acute hepatitis which is characterized by fatigue, loss of appetite, fever and jaundice. Most persons fully recover, but a small proportion of persons can die from acute hepatitis. In addition, hepatitis B and C infections can become chronic leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. It is estimated that approximately 1.4 million persons die each year from the various forms of viral hepatitis.