Chapter 2 : Types of Hepatitis
There are 5 types of hepatitis:
Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver disease.
This form of hepatitis never leads to a chronic infection and usually has no complications.
The liver usually heals from hepatitis A within two months.
However, occasional deaths from hepatitis A have occurred due to massive liver infection.
Hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination.
This form of hepatitis causes liver damage.
Most people recover from the virus within six months, but sometimes the virus causes a lifelong chronic infection, resulting in serious liver damage.
Once infected, a person can spread the virus even if he or she does not feel sick.
Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination.
One of the most common causes of liver disease in the U.S., Hepatitis C is the number one reason for liver transplant.
At least 80% of patients with hepatitis C develop a chronic liver infection.
Approximately 2.7 million people in the U.S. are chronically infected with hepatitis C, according to the CDC.
It often does not show any symptoms.
No vaccine is yet available to prevent hepatitis C.
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) is an RNA virus that is structurally unrelated to hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C virus. It was discovered in 1977.
HDV causes a unique infection that requires the assistance of viral particles from hepatitis B virus (HBV) to replicate and infect other hepatocytes.
Its clinical course is varied and ranges from acute, self-limited infection to acute, fulminant liver failure.
Chronic liver infection can lead to end-stage liver disease and associated complications.
Hepatitis E is an enterically transmitted infection that is typically self-limited.
It is caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV) and is spread by fecally contaminated water within endemic areas.
Outbreaks can be epidemic and individual.
Hepatitis E has many similarities with hepatitis A.
Hepatitis E has been associated with chronic hepatitis in solid organ-transplant recipients.
Topics covered in this snack-sized chapter: