What is Viral Hepatitis?

Viral Hepatitis is Liver Inflammation, or damage, that is directly related to a Virus. The onset of symptoms can be quite rapid depending on the virus type and the damage.

The most common and most well known virus are related to Hepatitis A, B, and C. But other Virus types have been known to cause inflammation or damage to the liver.

Back in 2013 – Some 1.5 million people died from Viral Hepatitis. The majority of the deaths were related to Hepatitis B and C.

There are vaccinations that can prevent Hepatitis A and B.

East Asia is the are of the world most affected by Viral Hepatitis.

Although the Viruses are named Hepatitis – that does not mean that they are related.

Types of Viruses Involved Include:

1.)  Hepatitis A
2.)  Hepatitis B
3.)  Hepatitis C
4.)  Hepatitis D
5.)  Hepaitits E
6.)  Cytomegalovirus
7.)  Epstien-Barr Virus
8.)  Yellow Fever
9.)  Herpes Simplex
10.) Others


–  Prodromal phase
–  Icteric phase
–  Covbalescent phase, and complications
–  Hepatomegaly is seen in over 40% of cases.
–  Liver tenderness can be seen as can lymph tenderness.
–  Enlarged Spleen can be seen in 10 – 15 %.
–  Neural impairment can be seen in chronic C
–  Jaundice
–  Fever
–  Abdominal pain
–  Nausea
–  Weakness
–  Cirrhosis

Types of Hepatitis Viruses

Hepatitis A

–  HAV or Hepatitis A is a 27-nm RNA hepatovirus.
–  HAV vaccine introduce in 1995
–  Also called infectious hepatitis
–  Transmitted by fecal-oral routes.
–  Typically seen in over crowded areas and poor sanitation.
–  Passed in contaminated waters or foods
–  Mortality rate is low
–  Fulminate hepatitis A is uncommon alone.
–  More prevalent with patients already having Hepatitis C.
–  Can persist for years and 30% of the population in the US have serologic evidence of previous infection.

Hepatitis B

–  HBC or Hepatitis B is a 42 nm hepadnavirus
–  8 different genotypes (A-H) may determine infection and ability for response of antiviral medication.
–  Transmitted through blood or blood products or through sexual contact
–  It is present in saliva, semen, and vaginal secretions.
–  Mothers with Hep B can pass it to their child during delivery.Incubation time is 6 weeks to 6 months.
–  Risk of fulminate Hepatitis B is 1% of which have a mortality rate of 60%

Hepatitis C

–  HCV or Hepatitis C is a single stranded RNA virus – 6 major genotypes
–  50% of individuals infected from IV drug use.
–  Other risk factors are intranasal cocaine use, body piercings, tattoos, multiple sexual partners, and hemodialysis.
–  Transmission via breast-feeding has not been documented.
–  Incubation is 6 weeks on average.
–  Second most common cause agent of cirrhosis (after alcohol induced liver disease)

Hepatitis D

–  HDV or Hepatitis D is a defective RNA virus that is only seen with hepatitis B.
–  Occurrence is seen simultaneously with B.
–  If infections occurs at the same time as B outcome is usually similar to B.
–  If infections occurs in individual with chronic B than short term outcome may be worse.
–  Including fulminant or progression to cirrhosis.
–  Seen in IV drug users.
–  Overall uncommon infection.
–  Individuals having HDV has a 3x risk of hepatocullular carcinoma.

Hepatitis E

–  HEV or Hepatitis is a 29-32 nm RNA virus.
–  Rare in US – typically seen in an endemic area.
–  Waterborne transmission.
–  Mortality rate of 10% – 20% in pregnant women

Hepatitis F

–  Is a hypothetical virus.
–  Candidates have been considered – but none have been formally assigned

Hepatitis G

–  HGV or Hepatitis G is a flavivirus and is percutaneously transmitted.
–  Does not typically cause liver disease.
–  Typically does not affect those individuals with chronic B or C