/The Five Types of Hepatitis

The Five Types of Hepatitis

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What are the five types of hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a common disease that inflames the liver, an important organ for metabolism and breaking down food in the digestive system. To date, there are at least five different known types of viral hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is spread by either direct contact with an infected person’s feces or by indirect fecal contamination of food or water. There is a vaccine to prevent against infection.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Clay-colored or light stool
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Proper handwashing and vaccination are good ways to prevent hepatitis A.

Learn more about Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B

Can live outside of the body for at least seven days. During that time, the virus is still capable of causing infection .

Hepatitis B virus can be spread through:

  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Semen
  • From mother to her infant soon or right after birth

Symptoms of acute hepatitis B can include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stools

A blood test is needed to diagnose hepatitis B virus, and vaccinations are available to protect people at high risk for infection.

Learn more about Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is most commonly spread by exposure to contaminated blood or needles. The virus can survive outside of the body for up to four days.

Symptoms for hepatitis Care similar to other types of hepatitis, and like hepatitis B, a blood test is needed for diagnosis. Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C increase a person’s risk for liver cancer.

Symptoms for acute hepatitis C can include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

More than 90 percent of people who have chronic hepatitis C infection can be cured of their infection within eight to 12 weeks of treatment with oral medications.

Learn more about Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis D

People with hepatitis B often develop hepatitis D, which is spread through contaminated blood products and unprotected sex with a person who has the disease. Hepatitis D, known as ‘delta hepatitis,’ is uncommon in the United States.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E virus is found in underdeveloped areas of the world and is spread by the fecal-oral route. Hepatitis E causes acute hepatitis, which usually goes away on its own. It can be more dangerous in pregnant women who are at an increased risk of liver failure and death. Hepatitis E does not cause chronic infection.

How can I prevent hepatitis disease?

Prevent hepatitis with good hygiene, practicing safe sex, and being careful around anything contaminated with blood.

If you experience jaundice, dark urine or light stool, see your health care provider right away.

Get vaccinated to protect against hepatitis A and B.

Where can I get more information?

Contact your health care provider or the Southern Nevada Health District Office of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance at (702) 759-1300.

For additional information about hepatitis, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Viral Hepatitis webpage.

Contact Information

Phone:
(702) 759-1000

Updated on: June 19, 2019

2019-06-19T11:27:28+00:00