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