Do I Have Hepatitis?
Time to revisit your ABCs: viral hepatitis—inflammation of the liver—is classified with different letters depending on which virus is to blame. All varieties are contagious and may cause fatigue, stomach pain, fever or yellowish eyes, and some put so much strain on the organ that they can lead to scarring, liver cancer or the need for a transplant.
Thankfully, the overall chances of contracting hepatitis are fairly low. Hep A (transferred mainly by food or water contaminated with feces) comes and goes in small outbreaks, while D (a complication of hep B) and E (usually spread by dirty water) are uncommon in developed countries (but be careful when traveling abroad.) Ultimately, most of the hepatitis burden comes down to B and C, which are chronic in less than one per cent of Canadians (although underreporting may be an issue.)