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 (Member organization of the Hemophilia Federation of America)

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The 5 Types of Viral Hepatitis

Hepatitis A

This type derives from an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). This type of hepatitis is most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from a person infected with hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B

This type derives from an infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). This type is transmitted through puncture wounds or contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, saliva, or semen. Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner, or sharing razors with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B. It’s estimated by the CDC that 1.25 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis B and 350 million people worldwide live with this chronic disease.

Hepatitis C

This type comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact. HCV is among the most common blood-borne viral infections in the United States. Approximately 2.7 million Americans are currently living with a chronic form of this infection.

Hepatitis D

This is also called delta hepatitis. Hepatitis D is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). HDV is contracted through puncture wounds or contact with infected blood. Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. It’s very uncommon in the United States.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and is typically caused by ingesting fecal matter. This disease is uncommon in the United States. However, cases of hepatitis E have been reported in the Middle East, Asia, Central America, and Africa, reports the CDC.

Hepatitis A and E are normally contracted from eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Hepatitis B, C, and D are contracted through contaminated blood. These forms of hepatitis can be either acute or chronic. Types B and C usually become chronic.

Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease that occurs when your body makes antibodies against your liver tissue.


Transmission of HBV and HCV to patients has occurred in healthcare settings either from:

Patient-to-patient transmission through infection prevention and control breaches when handling shared medications or patient equipment (e.g., administering injections, performance of blood glucose monitoring)

Provider-to-patient transmission, largely through diversion of controlled substances by infected healthcare personnel

Patient-to-patient transmission through infected blood, organs, and tissues*

*This assessment tool is not intended for assessment of transmission linked to blood, organs, and other tissues


Certain inappropriate infection prevention and control practices (e.g., syringe reuse from patient to patient or to reenter medication vials used for more than one patient) have been documented on multiple occasions to result in bloodborne pathogen transmission. If these practices are identified by investigators during the site visit, they should be immediately corrected and should result in notification of all patients who were potentially exposed to these unsafe practices, regardless of identification of additional cases or source patients. CDC is available to assist with discussion of best practices surrounding patient notification if such practices are identified.

For more specific and factual information on Hepatitis, including cause, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and more visit:Centers for disease control and Prevention