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5. What is the difference between acute and chronic infection?

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the difference between acute and chronic infections because the other speaker will deal with that. But I just wanted to give you a sense of the difference. Acute infections are short term. They last no more than six months by definition. It’s not that they don’t sometimes last longer, but by definition they don’t last more than six months after onset and it’s terminated because there’s an adequate immune response to the virus. And the important thing is that there does not appear to be any increased risk of liver cancer for people who have an acute infection and get over it. But chronic infections last for years and they do carry the increased risk of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death.