Hepatitis A Hepatitis B Hepatitis C Hepatitis D, E, G
Hepatitis Resource Center

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health have recovered a virus similar to the hepatitis E virus (HEV) from rats in Los Angeles, California, a finding that may explain high levels of HEV exposure in inner-city residents without disease. They reported their findings at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. More >



Hepatitis D is also an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis delta virus. It is important to know that hepatitis D can only survive or exist in a person who has hepatitis B. In other words, the hepatitis D virus will not survive without hepatitis B.

The transmission of hepatitis D occurs through the same blood, sexual, and perinatal sources as hepatitis B. A patient can acquire the hepatitis D virus with the same exposure as hepatitis B, or they can get the hepatitis D virus at a later time from a new source of infection.

Sometimes there are symptoms from this virus similar to those experienced by other hepatitis viruses. Some patients may become seriously ill requiring hospitalization. About 1,000 deaths occur each year from chronic hepatitis D.

When infected with both hepatitis B and hepatitis D, the chance of a poor outcome is increased. More patients tend to develop cirrhosis at a more rapid pace (versus infection with only the hepatitis B virus alone).


Hepatitis E is an acute disease. It does not become chronic. It is very similar to hepatitis A in that it occurs mainly by contamination of food and water. It is not spread through needles, blood or other body fluids or through sexual contact. Approximately 30-80% of adult patients will exhibit jaundice. Other symptoms are similar to other hepatitis viruses such as flu-like aches and body pains.

Hepatitis E occurs mainly in developing countries and is very common in India, Asia, Africa, and Central America. The outbreaks occur typically after water supplies are contaminated with sewage after treacherous rain or flood conditions. Infected individuals in the United States have usually returned from travel to an area where the virus is most common.

There is a 15-60 day incubation period and infected persons can be contagious for up to two weeks following the appearance of symptoms.


The Hepatitis G virus was discovered in 1995. It can cause a persistent infection in about 15-30% of adults. Its long term significance is not totally clear.

Hepatitis G is cases have been identified in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America. HGV is transmissible via blood transfusion and also can be acquired by exposure to blood and blood products. HGV is present in the US volunteer blood donor population.

© 2003 California Hepatitis Resource Center