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Meaning 'liver inflammation' Hepatitis is often caused by a virus, but can have other causes such as excess alcohol.

Different kinds of hepatitis virus can infect the liver; the most common being hepatitis A and B viruses.

Hepatitis A is spread by poor hygiene and sanitation, the contamination of food and water.

Hepatitis B can be spread through blood and body fluids. Unprotected sex, unsterilised needles or contaminated blood products being among the most common causes.

Hepatitis C is also spread through exchange of blood or blood products. It is spread through sharing needles, also needlestick accidents (when healthcare workers jab themselves or a colleague by accident).

Before 1992 it was spread by blood transfusions before screening was brought in.

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