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Types of Hepatitis

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver.

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver.

Hepatitis A

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is the inflammation of the liver caused by the HAV virus. It is highly contagious, usually through fecal-oral contact either by person-to-person contact or through infected foods.

Who is at risk for Hepatitis A?

Anyone is at risk for Hepatitis A. Some people are at higher risk. These people include:

  • People traveling or living in areas where Hepatitis A is common
  • Men who have sex with other men
  • People who use illegal drugs
  • Hemophiliacs
  • Someone who lives with a person who has Hep A
  • People who have oral-anal sexual contact with an infected person

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis A?

More than 80% of adults that have Hep A experience symptoms. Children may or may not show symptoms. They will usually show 2-6 weeks after exposure and last between 2-6 months. Hep A can spread even if a person is not showing symptoms. People with Hep A usually recover completely with little to no bodily damage. Hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death, although this is rare. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored feces
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

How is Hepatitis A diagnosed?

Hepatitis A is usually diagnosed through a blood sample taken by a healthcare professional.

How is Hepatitis A treated?

There is no specific treatment to treat Hep A. Infected persons will feel sick for a few months and few will require hospitalization. A doctor will recommend plenty of fluids, rest, and a nutritious diet, and limited to no alcohol. Check with a doctor before taking any medications.

How can I prevent getting Hepatitis A?

The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is to get the Hep A vaccine.

For more information on Hepatitis A, visit https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/afaq.htm#overview.

Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The disease can be mild or it can have lifelong-lasting effects. There are 2 types of Hepatitis B:

  • Acute Hepatitis B is short-term that occurs within 6 months of exposure to HAB. It can occasionally lead to chronic infection.
  • Chronic Hepatitis B is long-term and occurs when HAB remains in the body.

Who is at risk for Hepatitis B?

Anybody can get Hep B. Some people are at higher risk. These people include:

  • People who have sex with an infected person
  • People with multiple sex partners
  • People with STDs
  • Men who have sex with other men
  • People who inject drugs with needles or share needles
  • People who live with a person infected with chronic Hep B
  • Infants born to infected mothers
  • People exposed to blood at their jobs
  • Hemodialysis patients
  • People who travel or live in countries with high Hep B rates

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B?

Patients will not always show symptoms.  70% of adults will show symptoms, and children over the age of 5 are more likely to show symptoms. Symptoms usually show 90 days after exposure but may show between 6 weeks and 6 months. People may stay sick between 6 weeks and 6 months. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored feces
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

What complications are associated with Hepatitis B?

Chronic Hepatitis B may cause:

  • Liver damage/failure/cancer
  • Death

How is Hepatitis B diagnosed?

A doctor can diagnose Hepatitis B through one or more blood tests.

How is Hepatitis B treated?

There is no specific treatment to cure Hepatitis B. A doctor will recommend adequate rest, plenty of fluids, and a nutritious diet.  Occasionally, patients may have to be hospitalized. Alcohol is not recommended. Talk to your doctor before using medications.

How can I prevent Hepatitis B?

The best way to protect against Hepatitis B is to receive the Hep B vaccination.

For more information on Hepatitis B, visit https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/bfaq.htm#overview.

Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The disease can be mild or severe. There are 2 types of Hepatitis C:

  • Acute Hepatitis C is short-term and usually occurs within 6 months of transmission. It can occasionally become chronic.
  • Chronic Hepatitis C is long-term and happens when HCV remains in the person’s body. It can lead to serious liver conditions.

Who is at risk for Hepatitis C?

Those at increase risk for Hepatitis C include:

  • Injection drug users (the #1 cause in the U.S.)
  • Past injection drug users, even one-time users
  • Recipients of donated blood, blood products, and/or organs
  • People who received blood products for clotting products previous to 1987
  • Hemodialysis patients
  • People who have received tattoos or piercings with non-sterile instruments
  • Healthcare workers injured by needles
  • Recipients of blood or organs from an infected person
  • HIV-infected persons
  • Children born to HCV-positive mothers

Occasionally, HCV can spread by:

  • Having sex with HCV-positive persons
  • Sharing personal hygiene items with HCV-positive persons

What are the symptoms of acute Hepatitis C?

70%-80% of patients will not experience symptoms. Symptoms may occur 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Patients can still spread the virus, even if they do not show symptoms. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored feces
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

What are the symptoms of chronic Hepatitis C?

Many chronic Hep C patients will not show symptoms. Those who do experience symptoms may have liver damage with no symptoms until damage occurs.

How is Hepatitis C diagnosed?

A person can be diagnosed for Hep C through one or more blood tests. Persons who should be tested include:

  • Persons born between 1945 and 1965
  • Current or former injection drug users
  • People treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987
  • People who received a blood or organ transplant before 1992
  • Long-term hemodyalisis patients
  • People with abnormal liver tests/diseases
  • Healthcare workers exposed to a needle

How is Hepatitis C treated?

Acute Hepatitis C will disappear on its own in 15%-25% of people. Treatment can be used to keep Hep C from recurring in the future. Medications are available for patients who do not recover on their own.

Chronic Hepatitis C can be cured through medications. Medications have become more effective over the years and have fewer side effects than previous options. Talk you your healthcare provider for the best treatment option.

How can I prevent Hepatitis C?

Unfortunately, there is not yet a vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C, although research for the vaccine is underway. Hepatitis C can be prevented by avoiding direct contact with an infected person, getting tattoos/piercings from a safe, reputable, and licensed shop, and not sharing needles.

For more information on Hepatitis C, visit https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm#overview.

 

Hepatitis D

What is Hepatitis D?

Hepatitis D, “delta hepatitis”, is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis D virus (HDV). It only occurs amongst people who have Hepatitis B, because it requires HBV to replicate. Hep D can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).

How is Hepatitis D transmitted?

Hep D is transmitted through percutaneous or mucosal contact with infected blood. It can be transmitted through a coinfection with HBV or superinfection in people with an already established HBV infection.

How can I prevent Hepatitis D?

There is no vaccine for Hep D, but it can be prevented in non-Hep B infected people that get the HBV vaccine.

For more information on Hepatitis D, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hdv/.

Hepatitis E

What is Hepatitis E?

Hepatitis E is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis E virus (HEV). It usually results in an acute illness. It is most common in the developing world, but it is rare in the developed world. It can progress to chronic hepatitis in organ transplant recipients.

Where is Hepatitis E most common?

  • Asia
  • Middle East
  • Africa
  • Central America

Are there different genotypes of Hepatitis E?

Yes, there are 4 different genotypes:

  • Genotype 1: This type is found in Africa and Asia, and is spread through fecal-oral contact and from person to person. Younger adults are at higher risk for Genotype 1. Outbreaks are common, but it does not become chronic.
  • Genotype 2: This type is found in Mexico and West Africa. It is spread through fecal-oral contact. Younger adults are at higher risk for Genotype 2. Small outbreaks are possible, but it does not become chronic.
  • Genotype 3: This type is most common in developed countries. The transmission is food-borne. It is most common in older adults, males, and immuno-compromised persons. It is uncommon, but chronic infection is possible.
  • Genotype 4: This type is most common in China, Taiwan, and Japan. Transmission is food-borne. It is most common in young adults. Outbreaks are uncommon, and it does not become chronic.

How is Hepatitis E spread?

Hepatitis E is usually spread through fecal-oral contact. In Genotypes 1 and 2, it is normally spread through fecal-contaminated drinking water. In Genotypes 3 and 4, it is spread through undercooked or infected meat.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis E?

Symptoms will usually occur between 15 and 60 days after exposure. Hepatitis E can result in death, but it is very rare. However, it is more fatal in pregnant women. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored feces
  • Joint paint
  • Jaundice

Who is at risk for HEV infections?

  • Older adolescents in developing countries
  • Pregnant women
  • Older men in developed countries
  • Organ transplant recipients

How is Hepatitis E diagnosed?

Diagnosis can only be determined by testing for antibodies against HEV.

How is Hepatitis E treated?

Hepatitis E usually goes away on its own without treatment. A doctor may recommend getting plenty of rest and fluids, a nutritious diet, avoiding alcohol, and avoiding medications that can damage the liver. Hospitalization may be required for some patients, specifically in pregnant women.

How can Hepatitis E be prevented?

A vaccine is not available in the U.S. for Hepatitis E, although one was developed in China. Avoiding contaminated water and meat products can reduce the risk for contracting Hepatitis E.

For more information on Hepatitis E, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hev/hevfaq.htm#section1.

Additional Information

For Information about the hepatitis A outbreak associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend purchased at Costco, click here.

For FAQ’s about the hepatitis A outbreak associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend purchased at Costco, click here.

Click here for the Nevada State Health Divisions press release.

Click here for the FDA product recall announcement.