Q&A with Australian Health Experts
What is the difference between acute and chronic hepatitis?
We are the peak community-based hepatitis organisation in the Australian state of New South Wales. We take a partnership approach with people primarily affected by ... View Profile
Acute infection involves a short illness that lasts up to six months. During this time the body fights the hepatitis virus and clears it from the body.
Chronic infection involves a long term, life-long, illness. The body tried to initially clear the virus but the virus has evaded the immune system and continues to replicate.
With hepatitis A, illness lasts a matter of weeks and there is no ongoing chronic infection.
With hepatitis B, only 5% of adults contracting the virus will have a chronic infection. Alarmingly, 90% of babies contracting the virus will develop chronic infection.
With hepatitis C, around 75% of people contracting the virus will develop a chronic infection.