The Five Types of Hepatitis
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 types of viral hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E.
Hepatitis A is spread by either direct contact with an infected person’s feces or by indirect fecal contamination of food or water.
- dark urine
- light stool
Proper hand washing is a good way to prevent hepatitis A.
Learn more about Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be spread through:
- body fluids
- from mother to infant soon or right after birth
Symptoms can include:
- abdominal pain
- joint pain
A blood test is needed to diagnose HBV, and vaccinations are available to protect people at high risk for infection.
Learn more about Hepatitis B.
Hepatitis C (HCV) is most commonly spread by exposure to contaminated blood or needles.
Symptoms for HCV are similar to other types of hepatitis, and like HBV, a blood test is needed for diagnosis. Both HBV and HCV increase a person’s risk for liver cancer.
Learn more about Hepatitis C.
People with HBV often develop hepatitis D (HDV), which is spread through contaminated blood products and unprotected sex with an infected person.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is found in underdeveloped areas of the world and is spread by the fecal/oral route. HEV causes acute hepatitis, which usually goes away on its own.
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 doctor right away.
Where can I get more information?
Contact your doctor or the Southern Nevada Health District, Office of Epidemiology at (702) 759-1300.
Updated on: October 12, 2018