Serious disease that causes inflammation of liver and can lead to liver cancer
and liver failure
, but is preventable by vaccination. Its two types have similar symptoms (flu-like fever, jaundice, nausea) but are spread
by different routes: (1) Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis): caused by Hepatitis A Virus
(HAV) and transmitted by direct contact
with fecal matter or contaminated food
or water, it is found in nearly half of the (mostly developing) countries of the world. (2) Hepatitis B (serum hepatitis): caused by Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) transmitted mainly through sexual intercourse, transfusion of infected blood, and contaminated needles or surgical instruments.
It is found throughout the world, but mainly in tropical Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, and Dominican Republic and Haiti in the Caribbean.