Viral hepatitis is a group of diseases of the liver that can be caused by consuming contaminated water or food, using dirty needles or syringes, or practicing unsafe sex.

Scientists have identified six hepatitis viruses, but three - known as A, B and C - cause about 90 per cent of acute hepatitis cases in Canada. People infected with hepatitis can experience effects ranging from mild illness to serious liver damage. Many recover completely from an infection, while others become carriers of the disease and can spread it to others unknowingly. It is especially important for women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant to get tested for hepatitis.

Typical symptoms of acute hepatitis are:

  • Fever;
  • Appetite loss;
  • Nausea;
  • Abdominal pain; and
  • Jaundice (yellowish colour on the skin and eyeballs).

Types of Hepatitis

Find out more about the causes, risk factors, transmission, prevention and treatment, and rates within Canada.

Resources on Hepatitis

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