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Viral Hepatitis

The term "hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver, which can be due to a variety of causes, but usually refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver. The liver is one of the most important organs in the body because it filters your blood. The most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

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Four Things You Should Know About Hepatitis

1. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are all different diseases.
Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and transmitted in different ways. Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although it can make people very sick. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems.

2. Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer.
Chronic hepatitis can cause serious damage to the liver, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.

3. Most people with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected.
More than 4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.

4. Getting tested could save your life.
Lifesaving care and treatments are available for chronic hepatitis, but getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected. Take CDC’s Hepatitis Risk Assessment to see if you should be tested for viral hepatitis.

Last Updated: 09-08-2015

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