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Hepatitis D virus (HDV) 

(delta hepatitis)

All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. The Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages.

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.

General information


May is Hepatitis Awareness Month
May 19 is National Hepatitis Testing Day

Four Things You Should Know About Hepatitis

  1. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are all different diseases. Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and spread in different ways. Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although it can make people very sick. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems.

  2. Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis can cause serious damage to the liver, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.

  3. Most people with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected. More than 4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.

  4. Getting tested could save your life. Lifesaving care and treatments are available for chronic hepatitis, but getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected. Take the Hepatitis Risk Assessment (exit DHS) to see if you should be tested for viral hepatitis.

For more information regarding hepatitis, visit the following websites:

Information from the Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention
Hepatitis Awareness Month (exit DHS)
Hepatitis Risk Assessment (exit DHS)
CDC Viral Hepatitis Homepage (exit DHS)
Know More Hepatitis (exit DHS)

Hepatitis Fact Sheets from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services
 Hepatitis A 
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C

Wisconsin HIV/STD/Hepatitis C Information and Referral Center  (exit DHS)

Information for health professionals

  • This is a Wisconsin Disease Surveillance Category II disease: 
    Report to the patient's local public health department electronically, through the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS), by mail or fax using an Acute and Communicable Disease Case Report F44151 or by other means within 72-hours upon recognition of a case. DHS Communicable Disease Reporting

  • Wisconsin case reporting and public health follow-up guidelines: Hepatitis D EpiNet
  • Viral hepatitis case report form 
  • Hepatitis D overview  


Stephanie Borchardt  
Wisconsin Division of Public Health 
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-266-9923)  (Fax 608-267-9493)

Anna Kocharian 
Wisconsin Division of Public Health 
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-266-8621)  (Fax 608-267-9493)

Last Revised: August 14, 2014