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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

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
  • Review Date: 03/2013 -
  • Update Date: 03/15/2013 -
  • Viral hepatitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Available at: http://www.cdcnpin.org/scripts/hepatitis/index.asp . Updated October 15, 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.

  • What I need to know about Hepatitis B. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepb%5Fez/index.htm . Published April 2009. Accessed January 19, 2011.