Advertisement

What causes hepatitis?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Hepatitis A
The hepatitis A virus causes hepatitis A. This virus is usually spread by personal contact with someone that has the disease, or through contaminated food or water. People most likely to get the disease are those who visit countries with poor sanitation, those who take illegal drugs and those who have sex with someone or live with someone with an active hepatitis A infection.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) which infects the liver causing it to become inflamed. Hepatitis B infection can be contracted through body fluids (semen, vaginal secretions) and blood infected with the hepatitis B virus. Common causes of hepatitis B infections include:

  • Sexual contact with infected fluids and blood
  • Passed from infected mother to child during birth
  • Sharing needles, razors or toothbrushes with someone who's infected
  • Accidental pricks with needles or other instruments tainted with infected blood

HBV cannot be contracted from being coughed or sneezed on, sharing food or eating utensils, kissing, hugging or breastfeeding.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Continue Learning about Hepatitis

What Are the Side Effects for Injectable Treatments for Hepatitis C?
What Are the Side Effects for Injectable Treatments for Hepatitis C?
What Drew You to Research Hepatitis C?
What Drew You to Research Hepatitis C?
Will the New Treatments for Hepatitis C Be Affordable?
Will the New Treatments for Hepatitis C Be Affordable?
How Have the Stigmas of Hepatitis C Impeded the Path to a Cure?
How Have the Stigmas of Hepatitis C Impeded the Path to a Cure?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.