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Hepatitis: True or false?
Hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver, is usually caused by a virus. How much do you know about viral hepatitis? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
True or false: Hepatitis is caused by a single virus.
False. There are several types of viruses that cause hepatitis, including hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. It's thought there are still-undiscovered hepatitis-causing viruses as well.
True or false: You can only get viral hepatitis by abusing injection drugs.
False. Hepatitis A is spread mainly through contaminated food or water; type A also spreads through sex and close personal contact. Hepatitis B spreads through contact with blood or through sex. It can also pass from an infected mother to her baby during birth. Hepatitis C is usually spread through blood, especially blood transfusions done before 1992.
True or false: Hepatitis can last a lifetime.
True. In some cases, hepatitis is mild and lasts a few weeks or months. Other times, however, hepatitis B, C, D and E can each develop into a chronic, lifelong illness. Without treatment, this can lead to more serious issues, such as liver cancer, liver failure and death.
True or false: All adults should be screened for hepatitis.
True. Everyone 18 and older should be tested for hepatitis B and C at least once, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Screening is also recommended during each pregnancy. And your provider might recommend additional screenings based on your risk.
True or false: If you've had standard vaccinations, you're protected against hepatitis.
False. All children should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. All adults ages 18 to 59 and adults age 60 or older at increased risk should be vaccinated against hepatitis B. The vaccine for type B will also help protect you from type D. However, there is no available vaccine for hepatitis C or E.
One symptom of hepatitis is jaundice: a yellowing of the eyes and skin. Other symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for Health Professionals.” https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hev/index.htm.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Hepatitis E.” https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hev/index.htm.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Laboratory Testing Requests: Hepatitis D.” https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hdv/index.htm.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Screen All Patients for Hepatitis C." https://www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/hcp/Screen-All-Patients-For-HepC.htm.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "What Is Viral Hepatitis?" https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/abc.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "What Is Viral Hepatitis?" https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/viral-hepatitis/what-is-viral-hepatitis.