Hepatitis Home > Types of Viral Hepatitis
There are at least six types of viral hepatitis, each of which is caused by a different hepatitis virus. Some of these types have similar symptoms and cause similar infections. In addition, the viruses are spread in different ways, from eating or drinking something that is contaminated to contact with infected bodily fluids. Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States.
An Overview of Types of Viral HepatitisHepatitis is a medical term that means inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by many different things. However, one of the most common causes of hepatitis is an infection with a virus. This is known as viral hepatitis.
There are several types of viral hepatitis, each one caused by a different virus. This includes:
Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States.
Types of Viral Hepatitis: Hepatitis AHepatitis A is caused by an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). This is a single-stranded RNA virus from the family Picornaviridae and genus hepatovirus. The virus only infects humans.
Hepatitis A is most commonly spread by eating or drinking something (or putting something in your mouth, such as a utensil) that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A. This type of transmission is called "fecal-oral" transmission. For this reason, the hepatitis A virus is more easily spread in areas where there are poor sanitary conditions or where good personal hygiene is not observed.
Most infections result from contact with a household member or sex partner who has hepatitis A. Casual contact, as in the usual office, factory, or school setting, does not spread the virus.
(Click Hepatitis A Transmission for more information.)
While hepatitis A can cause swelling of the liver, it doesn't normally cause permanent liver damage. For most people, symptoms are mild (see Hepatitis A Symptoms).
There is no specific hepatitis A treatment. Fortunately, the disease usually gets better on its own. Most people who get hepatitis A recover in several months, and people who get hepatitis A typically do not get it again.