The ABCs of Hepatitis: Learn About the Five Types of This Virus

five types of hepatitis

Think you know everything there is to know about the hepatitis virus? Let’s test that. Here are the basics of the five types of hepatitis.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is the first on this virus tree. You become infected by hepatitis A from eating or drinking water contaminated by an infected person’s fecal matter.

The most common way to pass on this infection is by ingesting food or water that contains even a trace of fecal matter from someone infected with hepatitis A. Most noteworthy is that mild cases don’t require medical treatment.

Hepatitis B

And, next on the hep family tree is hepatitis B. This virus (HBV) is commonly transmitted through sexual contact. You can also receive the virus by sharing needles with an infected person. That is because hepatitis B passes to another person via infectious fluids. Blood, semen, and vaginal secretions are just some carriers of this virus. In addition, HBV is an ongoing and chronic condition.

Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) spreads in a similar way that hepatitis B transmits to others. You receive this infection through direct contact with body fluids infected with this virus. Therefore, this commonly happens during sexual contact or intravenous drug use.

It’s especially relevant to note nowadays chronic HCV can be cured. But, half the people who have it don’t know it. This makes treatment difficult, and the danger of spreading the infection is high.

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D, on the other hand, transmits only through direct contact with infected blood. The hepatitis D virus (HDV) is also known as delta hepatitis. It’s fairly rare and linked to hepatitis B infection. Furthermore, you will not find hepatitis D without hepatitis B. HDV can’t multiply without hepatitis B in the body as well.

Hepatitis E

Last on the list is hepatitis E. The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is largely waterborne. You receive it from drinking water contaminated with infected fecal matter. HEV is prevalent in areas with poor sanitation. And, it is uncommon in the United States.

Final Thoughts

Knowing the five types of hepatitis makes it easier to protect yourself from infection. Be careful about questionable food and water sources. And sexual contact with questionable people, too. Use your common sense about the cleanliness around you.