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March 1962

Prevention and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis

Author Affiliations


The Gastroenterology Division of The Department of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Sinai Hospital, Baltimore.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(3):310-322. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620150060011

Viral hepatitis is produced by at least 2 distinct agents, but the clinical distinction between them is not easily possible. Serum hepatitis (SH) is transmitted only by the parenteral inoculation of virus, usually in the form of transfusions of blood. Infectious hepatitis (IH), although capable rarely of transmission by the parenteral route, generally gains access to the body by the ingestion of food or water contaminated by infectious feces. Progress in the investigation and therapy of the disease has been slow because the virus has not been grown in tissue culture or other medium and a host other than man has not been found. Furthermore, no simple test for the presence of the infection has been developed. Both forms of hepatitis have a long incubation period—12 to 42 days for IH and 36 to 180 days for SH—followed by a prodromal stage and then jaundice. There is viremia and invasion

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