Hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver and
interferes with its normal function. Hepatitis can be caused by infection
(usually by a virus), excessive alcohol use, medicine, or a problem with the
The three most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A,
hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Viral hepatitis is contagious. All three types of
viral hepatitis (A, B, and C) can be spread through contact with body fluids. Hepatitis A can also spread when people consume food or water contaminated by
stool (feces) containing the virus.
Symptoms of hepatitis can last for weeks to months. They
Yellowing of the skin and eyes
Weight loss and lack of
Discomfort in the upper right abdomen.
Some types of hepatitis can cause serious, long-term complications,
such as severe and permanent liver damage.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.