No one knows the full number of pathogenic viruses that pose a public health threat, but knowing how long harmful viruses can survive in the environment can help us stay healthy and avoid spreading infections.
Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, usually caused by hepatitis virus types A, B, and C. Hepatitis A is a short-term infection, while both B and C can become chronic and lifelong conditions. Contaminated food and water can transmit Hepatitis A, which can live outside the body for months. Hepatitis B is transmitted through infected body fluids, and remains infectious in wet or dry fluids for at least seven days. Hepatitis C is mainly transmitted through direct contact with infected blood and can remain infectious for up to six weeks at room temperature.
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