Hepatitis refers a family of medical conditions defined by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A, B and C are viral infections causing Hepatitis.
Aches and pains
Yellowing of the skin and eyes
Loss of appetite
Light coloured faeces
Hepatitis A is an acute condition caused by a the Hepatitis A virus. It rarely causes long term liver disease, and symptoms traditionally last 1-3 weeks. Hepatitis A is usually contracted through the faecal oral route, contaminated water, contaminated food, and hand to mouth contact.
Hepatitis A is best prevented with vaccination and good personal hygiene when overseas (washing hands after using toilet, avoiding salads and buffet's, etc.)
Hepatitis B is a virus that can cause serious and irreversible damage to a persons liver. 5% of people with Hepatitis B will go on to have a chronic infection lasting over 6 months. Hepatitis B is usually contracted through blood-blood contract, unprotected sex, unsterile tattooing or piercing, needle stick injuries. Approximately 50% of infected people will die from liver failure or cancer of the liver.
The best form of prevention is the Hepatitis B vaccine, and practicing safe sex.
Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus requiring blood to blood contact to spread. 75% of people with hepatitis C will go on to have a chronic liver condition. Currently there is no vaccine available for Hepatitis C, and the best form of prevention is avoiding contact with other peoples blood (not sharing needles, drug use equipment etc.).