• Symptoms of Viral Hepatitis

    Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis A may or may not cause symptoms. Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children. Incubation is 15-45 days. Hepatitis A does not progress to chronic liver disease.

    Hepatitis B

    With hepatitis B, symptoms usually appear within 25-180 days following exposure to the virus. Hepatitis B may progress to carrier state or chronic liver disease.

    Hepatitis C

    Most people with hepatitis C have no symptoms. Over time, however, the disease can cause serious liver damage. Hepatitis C may progress to chronic hepatitis. Incubation is 15-60 days.

    Common Symptoms

    Symptoms common to all types of viral hepatitis include:
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Fever
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Weight loss
    • Abdominal pain or discomfort
    • Aches and pains
    • Headache
    • Jaundice—yellowing of the eyes and skin
    • Darker-colored urine
    • Lighter-colored stool
    • Itching
    • Rash


    Overview of acute viral hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-acute-viral-hepatitis. Updated June 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.

    Overview of chronic viral hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-chronic-hepatitis. Updated July 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.

    Viral hepatitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis. Updated October 15, 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.

    What I need to know about Hepatitis B. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/liver-disease/hepatitis-b/Pages/ez.aspx. Accessed January 19, 2011.

    Revision Information

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