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Incubation Period for Viral Hepatitis

Following hepatitis transmission, a person does not immediately become sick. Once the specific hepatitis virus enters the body, it travels to the liver, where it begins to multiply.
After 14 to 180 days, viral hepatitis symptoms can begin. This period between hepatitis transmission and the start of hepatitis signs and symptoms is called the "hepatitis incubation period."
Hepatitis A tends to have the shortest incubation period (30 days on average), while hepatitis B and hepatitis D tend to have the longest (60 to 90 days on average).

What Are the Symptoms?

Some people with acute viral hepatitis have no signs of the infection. For other people, symptoms might develop. The signs and symptoms of viral hepatitis include:
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Headache.
Similar to acute hepatitis, a person may have chronic viral hepatitis and not know it because no symptoms develop.
Click any of the following links to learn about symptoms associated with each type of viral hepatitis:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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