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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the difference between acute and chronic hepatitis?

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    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.

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