Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. The condition can resolve on its own, and it can also develop into liver fibrosis, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis virus is the most common cause of hepatitis worldwide, but other infections, toxic substances (such as alcohol and certain drugs) and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
There are mainly five hepatitis viruses, namely A, B, C, D and E. These five types of hepatitis are the most concerned because of the disease burden and the resulting death, and the possibility of outbreaks and epidemics. In particular, hepatitis B and C, which cause hundreds of millions of people suffering from chronic diseases, are the most common causes of cirrhosis and cancer.
The typical cause of hepatitis A and E is the consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D infections are usually the result of parenteral contact with contaminated body fluids. Common routes of transmission for these viruses include ingestion of contaminated blood or blood products, and use of contaminated equipment for invasive medical procedures. Hepatitis B is also transmitted to the baby by the mother during childbirth, transmitted to the child by family members, and it can also be transmitted through sexual contact.