Viral hepatitis infections
"Hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver
and also refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver .
The most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and
the most common reason for liver transplantation. An estimated
4.4million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis; most do not know
they are infected. About 80,000 new infections occur each year.
Hepatitis A, caused by infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV), has
an incubation period of approximately 28 days (range: 15–50 days). HAV
replicates in the liver and is shed in high concentrations in feces from
2 weeks before to 1 week after the onset of clinical illness. HAV
infection produces a self-limited disease that does not result in
chronic infection or chronic liver disease
Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The
incubation period from the time of exposure to onset of symptoms is 6
weeks to 6 months. HBV is found in highest concentrations in blood and
in lower concentrations in other body fluids (e.g., semen, vaginal
secretions, and wound exudates). HBV infection can be self-limited or
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the most common chronic bloodborne
infection in the United States; approximately 3.2 million persons are
chronically infected. Although HCV is not efficiently transmitted
sexually, persons at risk for infection through injection drug use might
seek care in STD treatment facilities, HIV counseling and testing
facilities, correctional facilities, drug treatment facilities, and
other public health settings where STD and HIV prevention and control
services are available.
Hepatitis D, also known as "delta hepatitis," is a serious
liver disease caused by infection with the Hepatitis D virus (HDV),
which is an RNA virus structurally unrelated to the Hepatitis A, B, or C
viruses. Hepatitis D, which can be acute or chronic, is uncommon in the
United States. HDV is an incomplete virus that requires the helper
function of HBV to replicate and only occurs among people who are
infected with the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). HDV is transmitted through
percutaneous or mucosal contact with infectious blood and can be
acquired either as a coinfection with HBV or as superinfection in
persons with HBV infection. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis D, but it
can be prevented in persons who are not already HBV-infected by
Hepatitis B vaccination.
Hepatitis E is a serious liver disease
caused by the Hepatitis E virus (HEV) that usually results in an acute
infection. It does not lead to a chronic infection. While rare in the
United States, Hepatitis E is common in many parts of the world.
Transmission: Ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts;
outbreaks are usually associated with contaminated water supply in
countries with poor sanitation. Vaccination: There is currently no
FDA-approved vaccine for Hepatitis E.
Local Health Departments - Regional offices - Tribal agencies
June 14, 2012