What Is The Difference Between Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E?

What Is The Difference Between Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E?
25 May 2022
8 mins
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What Is The Difference Between Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E?

    Our liver is one of the most important organs of the body to perform major bodily processes. When such a crucial organ undergoes problems like inflammation, the entire system suffers. The term given for inflammation of the liver is known as hepatitis. It is one of the leading causes of death, more deadly than HIV. 


    What Are The 5 Types Of Hepatitis?


    The liver can undergo inflammation due to autoimmunity, alcohol consumption, drug abuse, etc. However, hepatitis due to viruses is the most common among them. Hepatitis can be classified as acute and chronic hepatitis depending on its duration and impact on the liver. Different types of hepatitis occur due to viral infections. It is essential to know about the five types of hepatitis because they significantly impact our society. Please keep reading to learn about ABCDE of hepatitis and how they differ from each other.


    What is Hepatitis A?


    As the name goes, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus. This virus is highly concentrated in the stool of the infected person. If someone accidentally comes in contact with this virus, they get affected immediately. This is the most common preventable and curable type of viral hepatitis. It stays for a short time and goes away on its own within a few days.


    What is Hepatitis B?


    Hepatitis B virus spreads through blood, saliva, tears etc. Still, unlike hepatitis A it is not concentrated in urine, sweat or faeces. One can spread this virus by sharing personal products like toothbrushes, syringes, needles for drug use, etc. This virus can also invade your body if you get tattoos under unhygienic conditions through infected needles.


    What is Hepatitis C?


    Hepatitis C spreads in a way similar to hepatitis B. It causes the liver to swell and cause cancer or scarring of liver tissues and lead to cirrhosis.


    What is Hepatitis D?


    Hepatitis D, also referred to as the delta hepatitis, is an infection caused by the hepatitis D virus. Delta hepatitis is an incomplete virus that depends on the hepatitis B virus to replicate and spread. This occurs only in people affected by the hepatitis B virus. To prevent delta hepatitis, you need to take the hepatitis B vaccine.


    What is Hepatitis E?


    Hepatitis E is a liver infection due to the hepatitis E virus. Quite similar to hepatitis A, it does not result in chronic illness. At present vaccination is not available for this type of liver infection.


    Let's Learn The Parameters To Differentiate Between Hepatitis A, B, C, D And E


    Although all the types of hepatitis are characterised by liver inflammation, the cause and treatment of liver inflammation differ among different types depending on specific parameters. We will further discuss the criteria that differentiate A, B, C, D and E hepatitis.


    How Common Is Hepatitis?


    Viral hepatitis is a prominent health issue. It affects millions of people annually and causes significant morbidity and mortality. Hepatitis B and C viruses are the most commonly occurring viral hepatitis. Hepatitis B and C together cause almost 90% of deaths due to viral hepatitis.

    What Is Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E Causes?


    Hepatitis can have several triggers and root causes. There are various pathways through which the hepatitis virus enters our body. Some types of hepatitis might occur due to accidental consumption of contaminated food or water. In contrast, this may not be a risk factor in other types. Some viruses like hepatitis B may spread due to blood transfusion, but they will not be present in urine, stool or sweat. This virus can also spread from a pregnant mother to the fetus in the womb, and has more than 80% chance of inheriting this disease.


    Duration Of Infection:


    Not all types of hepatitis infections have the same duration. As we discussed earlier, liver inflammation could be acute or chronic. In acute illness, the patient recovers once and for all, and that’s it. You will not get infected by the same virus again. In the case of chronic hepatitis, the inflammation and infection come once and remain for life. 


    If the liver remains inflamed for more than 6 months, it is termed chronic hepatitis. It can cause liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and cancer. Acute liver inflammation stays for a short time and resolves on its own; however, depending on the cause, even acute hepatitis can lead to liver failure.


    Prevention Of Hepatitis Infection:


    Hepatitis infections, in general, are preventable, and some can be prevented through vaccinations. While vaccines are not readily available for all types of hepatitis, you can easily control the infection by altering your lifestyle. Hygiene is the key to prevention. If you are confident that your drinking water and food are not contaminated, you are good to go. Pay attention to personal hygiene, especially if you stay with an infected person. If you are working in the healthcare field, be extra cautious not to touch blood or body fluids without gloves.



    Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis D

    Hepatitis E






















    Fecal-oral route. 


    Blood and body fluids.

    Mother to fetus.


    Sexual contact with infected person.




    Sharing needles or syringes with an infected person.



    Sharing needles, blood transfusion, sexual intercourse.



    Fecal-oral route





















    Risk factor


    Travel to risk-prone countries.


    Lack of sanitation in the surroundings


    Domestic contact with the infected person.


    Consumption of contaminated foods.


    Intravenous drug usage.


    Multiple sexual partners.

    Frequent or multiple blood transfusions.


    Partners of hepatitis B infected people.


    Healthcare providers working in infected areas.


    Sharing of syringe, toothbrush and needles with the infected person.



    Intravenous drug usage.

    Frequent blood transfusion.


    Organ transplantation.


    Contact with mucous.


    Contact with infectious blood and dirty needles.


    History of infection with hepatitis B.


    Sexual intercourse.


    Accidental consumption of contaminated water.


    Incubation period



    14-28 days



    30-180 days


    2 weeks to 6 months


    13 weeks


    3-8 weeks





    Jaundice in older children and adults.



    No symptoms in immunosuppressed adults.


    Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting


    Similar to Hepatitis B


    Acute illness.





    No major complications. However, in very rare cases, it may result in liver failure.



    Chronic scarring of liver tissues and liver swelling may result in liver cirrhosis and cancer.


    Chronic scarring of liver tissues and liver swelling may result in liver cirrhosis and cancer.


    No major complications


    No major consequences





    Vaccination and safe hygienic practices.





    Vaccination against hepatitis A and B is the key.


    Get vaccinated for hepatitis B to protect yourself from delta hepatitis.


    No vaccination is available. Incorporate safe hygiene and avoid drinking tap water.






    Supportive care


    Strict no to alcohol.


    Regular monitoring.


    Antiviral medications.


    Liver transplantation.


    Infection goes away within weeks. 


    Supportive care is necessary.


    Similar to hepatitis B.


    Supportive care. 


    Regular monitoring.



    Written by
    BhairaviContent Writer
    AboutPharm D
    Tags :Viral hepatitisdifferent types of viral hepatitishepatitis Ahepatitis Bhepatitis Chepatitis Dhepatitis E