About This Condition
Acute viral hepatitis varies from a minor flu-like illness to an overwhelming infection resulting in liver failure and death. The early phase is characterized by loss of appetite, malaise, nausea and vomiting, and fever. Signs include a darkening of the urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Chronic hepatitis may be asymptomatic, or may manifest as malaise, fatigue, loss of appetite and a low-grade fever.
Acute hepatitis generally resolves without medications. Treatment of chronic hepatitis includes cessation of causative agents like alcohol. In the late stages of certain types of hepatitis (not hepatitis B, generally), liver transplantation may be required to preserve life.