For more general information, see our Hepatitis page.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Viruses usually cause it—but toxins, parasites or drug or alcohol abuse can also lead to hepatitis. In Washington, hepatitis A, B and C viruses are the most common causes.
- Hepatitis A, B or C.
- Infection acquired within the last 12 months.
- May experience vomiting, abdominal pain or yellowing eyes or skin.
- Most will not show symptoms.
- Some cases (15-30%) recover on their own. Others become chronic infections requiring treatment.
- Hepatitis B or C.
- Virus remains in the body, slowly damaging the liver.
- Liver damage can lead to scarring (cirrhosis) or liver cancer.
- Cases will not resolve on their own.
- Treatment is available. Over 90% of infections can be cured.
Report certain cases of viral hepatitis.
- Within 24 hours—acute hepatitis A, B or E.
- Within 3 days—hepatitis C (acute), hepatitis D (acute or chronic) and pregnant women who test positive for hepatitis B surface antigen.
- Monthly—newly diagnosed chronic hepatitis B or C.