Whether the hepatitis is of the infectious or serum kind, the symptoms are quite similar except that in serum hepatitis they appear much later, and are likely to be more severe and long lasting, as much as six months or more. Among the symptoms generally associated with hepatitis are a pain in the upper right part of the abdomen, loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fever, upset stomach, loose bowels and malaise, that is, a feeling of not being well. As a rule, four days after such symptoms begin, jaundice appears. Bile may be detected in the urine and the stool may become clay coloured.
Evidently hepatitis is caused by a vital agent. It laid low a whole team of robust football players back in the fall of 1989. Members of a certain United States eastern college football team were reportedly "dropping like flies" because of having drunk contaminated water a few weeks before. More than 98 percent of all those connected with the college's football team were involved.
But the difference between the hepatitis case that was recognized because of its severity and the mild case that went undetected could well be due to the state of nutrition and general health of the individual. This seems borne out by the fact that the death toll from hepatitis is fifteen times as high in certain Asiatic lands where there is much malnutrition as it is in Western lands where people get plenty of good food to eat.