Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. The most common hepatitis viruses in Europe are types A, B, C and E (commonly referred to as HAV, HBV, HCV and HEV).
Even though their effects on the liver and the symptoms they produce can be similar, the severity and duration of the disease are determined by the virus that caused it.
While hepatitis A virus infection is typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water and causes an acute infection, hepatitis B and C usually occur as a result of contact with infected body fluids and can develop into a chronic infection. Together, HBV and HCV are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. Read more facts about viral hepatitis