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  1. Fleming, Jean RN, MPM, CIC


Common viral agents known to cause inflammation of the liver (hepatitis) are hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Some other viral agents that can cause hepatitis are Epstein Barr virus, herpes simplex virus, and cytomegalovirus. Some patients infected with these viral agents progress to develop chronic viral hepatitis. Approximately 45% of chronic hepatitis cases are associated with hepatitis C and approximately 15% are associated with hepatitis B. In addition to being a leading cause of chronic hepatitis, HCV is most frequently associated with liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although much has been published about HAV and HBV, health professionals have learned about HCV only in recent years. For this reason, this article will emphasize the epidemiologic challenges and current treatments for hepatitis C; hepatitis A and B will be discussed in brief.