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What health complications are associated with viral hepatitis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Hepatitis symptoms may subside after a few days or weeks and complete recovery can occur within a few weeks. Acute hepatitis rarely has complications or causes damage to the liver, although when it does have complications like fulminant hepatic failure it can be fatal. Complications can occur with chronic hepatitis. Constant or frequent episodes of liver inflammation can damage liver tissue. Long-term hepatitis can lead to liver failure or liver cancer, and the need for a liver transplant. In some cases, hepatitis can cause fluid buildup in the abdomen causing tissue in the abdomen to swell. Although a liver transplant can replace a damaged liver, chronic hepatitis C infection can return and cause health complication in the new liver. In severe cases, complications with the liver can affect the health of your brain. Fortunately, drug treatments now can cure the infection in most people.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.