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Hepatitis, Viral, Acute
1990 Case Definition

Clinical Description

An illness with a) discrete onset of symptoms and b) jaundice or elevated serum aminotransferase (ALT) levels

Laboratory Criteria for Diagnosis

  • Hepatitis A: Immunoglobulin M antibody to hepatitis A virus (IgM anti-HAV) positive
  • Hepatitis B: IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc) positive (if done) or hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive, and IgM to hepatitis A virus (IgM anti-HAV) negative (if done)
  • Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis:
    • IgM anti-HAV-negative, AND
    • IgM anti-HBc-negative (if done) or HBsAg-negative, AND
    • Serum ALT levels greater than 2½ times the upper limit of normal
  • Delta Hepatitis: HBsAg- or IgM anti-HBc-positive and antibody to hepatitis D virus (anti-HDV) positive

Case Classification


A case that meets the clinical case definition and is laboratory confirmed


A serologic test for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody to the recently described hepatitis C virus is available, and many cases of non-A, non-B hepatitis may be demonstrated to be due to infection with the hepatitis C virus. With this assay, however, a prolonged interval between onset of disease and detection of antibody may occur. Until a more specific test for acute hepatitis C becomes available, these cases should be reported as non-A, non-B hepatitis. Chronic carriage or chronic hepatitis should not be reported.