Liver Health Awareness: Centers for Disease Control (CDC.gov) · American Liver Foundation New Jersey · Hepatitis B Foundation
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Alcohol consumption, several health conditions, and some medications can all cause this condition. However, viral infections are the most common cause. There are five main viral classifications of hepatitis:
Hepatitis A is the result of an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). This type of hepatitis is an acute, short-term disease.
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes hepatitis B. This is often an ongoing, chronic condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 826,000 Trusted Source people are living with chronic hepatitis B in the United States and around 257 million people worldwide.
Hepatitis C comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is among the most common bloodborne viral infections in the United States and typically presents as a long-term condition. According to the CDC, approximately 2.4 million Americans are currently living with a chronic form of this infection.
Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. The hepatitis D virus (HDV) causes liver inflammation like other strains, but a person cannot contract HDV without an existing hepatitis B infection. Globally, HDV affects almost 5 percent of people with chronic hepatitis B.
Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease that results from exposure to the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and typically results from ingesting fecal matter that contaminates the water supply. Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.
Hepatitis viruses can transmit from person to person through contact with bodily fluids, water, and foods containing infectious agents. Hepatitis B and C can carry through sexual intercourse and sexual contact. Condoms during sexual activity can help decrease the risk of infection.
People with hepatitis are at risk of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure.