What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. There are many different causes, and a distinction must be made between infectious and non-infectious causes. Infectious causes are often viruses or bacteria, but parasites and fungi are also possible. Hepatitis A and B are common viral-causing diseases of the liver and can be prevented by getting vaccinated. Hepatitis A and B can manifest as fever, malaise, jaundice and nausea.
Hepatitis A is transmitted primarily through contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Children infected with hepatitis A do not show any symptoms in most cases. However, adults generally do show symptoms and often have to be hospitalized.
Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with body fluids (blood, sexual intercourse, etc.). Although symptoms do not necessarily occur with hepatitis B, chronic progressions are possible, which are difficult to treat. Chronic hepatitis B often leads to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis).