There are different types of hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, and G. Types A, B, and C are the most common in the United States. Hepatitis G is a newly discovered form of liver inflammation.

The above information comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver. It can occur due to various reasons, including drug use, exposure to toxins, alcohol consumption, and certain autoimmune diseases. However, the most common cause of hepatitis is a viral infection.

In this article, we discuss in detail different types of hepatitis, treatment options, and outlook.

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Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver infection that occurs due to the hepatitis A virus.

Transmission occurs through contact with fecal matter, which can happen as a result of consuming contaminated food or water, not washing the hands, or engaging in anal sex.

While bloodborne transmission of hepatitis A is possible, it is uncommon.

According to the CDC, in 2018, people reported 12,474 cases of hepatitis A in the U.S. Due to underreporting, however, the CDC estimates the actual number of cases was approximately 24,900.

Treatment and outlook

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A, and recovery times vary from person to person.

Hepatitis A is a short-term infection and usually resolves within 2 months. Unlike other viral types of the condition, hepatitis A does not lead to chronic liver disease.

Learn more about hepatitis A here.

Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable liver infection that occurs due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

There are two types of hepatitis B: acute, or short-term, and chronic, or long-term. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis B transmits when blood, semen, or other bodily fluid from a person with HBV enters the body of someone who does not have it.

According to the CDC, an estimated 257 million people around the world have hepatitis B. In the U.S., approximately 862,000 people had chronic hepatitis B in 2016.

Most people with chronic hepatitis B do not have any symptoms or feel ill.

Treatment and outlook

For many, HBV is an acute infection that resolves on its own. However, people with chronic hepatitis B may require ongoing medical evaluation and frequent ultrasound scans of the liver.

Approximately 15–25% of cases of chronic hepatitis B are fatal due to serious liver complications, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

There are medications to help treat those with chronic hepatitis B.

Learn more about hepatitis B here.

Hepatitis C develops due to an infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The condition can be either acute or chronic.

Without treatment, acute hepatitis can form into chronic hepatitis C, which can lead to liver damage and liver cancer.

In 2018, there were 50,300 estimated cases of hepatitis C in the U.S.

A person can develop hepatitis C through blood-to-blood contact. For transmission to occur, blood containing HCV must enter the body of an individual who does not have the virus.

Treatment and outlook

Acute hepatitis C may resolve on its own. However, healthcare professionals recommend treatment for everyone with acute or chronic hepatitis C. Treatment involves 8–12 weeks of oral therapy.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 30% of people with the virus recover within 6 months without treatment. The remaining 70% will develop chronic HCV.

Learn more about hepatitis C here.

Hepatitis D, or delta hepatitis, occurs due to an infection with the hepatitis D virus. A person can only get hepatitis D if they already have a hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis D can be acute or chronic.

Transmission occurs through contact with blood and other bodily fluids from someone who has the infection.

According to the WHO, hepatitis D affects 5% of people who have chronic hepatitis B.

Treatment and outlook

There is no cure for hepatitis D.

A doctor may prescribe a drug called pegylated interferon-alpha to those with chronic hepatitis D. This medication may reduce progression of the condition, and people usually take it for a minimum of 48 weeks.

People can get the hepatitis B vaccine to avoid developing hepatitis D.

Learn more about hepatitis D here.

Hepatitis E develops due to an infection with the hepatitis E virus (HEV).

It is uncommon in the U.S., and most U.S. cases of hepatitis E result from travel to a country where the condition is endemic.

The most common source of HEV is contaminated drinking water. In sporadic cases, the infection is due to consumption of undercooked pork or deer meat.

Treatment and outlook

According to the CDC, hepatitis E usually resolves on its own. In rare cases, a person with the infection may require hospitalization.

Although there is no specific medication to treat acute hepatitis E, doctors may recommend supportive therapy.

Learn more about hepatitis E here.

Hepatitis G — also known as HGV, GB virus C, or GBV-C — may not be “true” hepatitis. There is little research to suggest that hepatitis G causes severe liver disease.

Researchers believe that the HGV and GB virus C are different strains of the same virus, which healthcare professionals refer to as GBV-C/HGV.

GBV-C/HGV usually occurs as a coinfection in those who have chronic hepatitis B or C, or HIV.

A person can transmit the virus through contact with blood that contains the virus. This can happen during pregnancy, sexual contact, or blood-to-blood contact.

According to a 2021 article, hepatitis G affects 3% of people worldwide. Most people with hepatitis G do not develop symptoms.

Treatment and outlook

There is currently no recommended treatment for hepatitis G.

While healthcare professionals often detect GBV-C/HGV in those with chronic HBV or HCV, GBV-C/HGV does not affect the severity of liver disease.

Autoimmune hepatitis and alcohol-related hepatitis, which many people refer to as alcoholic hepatitis, are both noninfectious types of the disease.

Autoimmune hepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition where the immune system attacks cells of the liver. Although the condition can develop in anyone, it more commonly affects females, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.

Experts do not know the direct cause of autoimmune hepatitis.

People who have a family history of autoimmune conditions or who have a preexisting autoimmune disease may be more likely to develop this type of hepatitis.


The goal of treatment is to suppress symptoms and slow or stop the process of the immune system attacking the liver.

Treatment may also include regular blood tests and frequent doctor visits to ensure that the body is responding well to treatment.

Autoimmune hepatitis can be a lifelong condition. People with autoimmune hepatitis should work with a doctor to monitor their symptoms and prevent serious complications.

With regular checkups and medication, many people with autoimmune hepatitis can bring it into remission.

Learn more about autoimmune hepatitis here.

Alcohol-related hepatitis

Alcohol-related hepatitis is when there is inflammation and scarring of the liver that results from excessive alcohol consumption.

Experts do not know the true prevalence of the condition. This is because many people with alcohol-related hepatitis are asymptomatic, and the condition often remains undiagnosed.

Symptoms of alcohol-related hepatitis include:

People who have other types of hepatitis are at higher risk of developing alcohol-related hepatitis and should therefore avoid alcohol.


If a person receives a diagnosis of alcohol-related hepatitis, they should stop consuming alcohol.

Although the scarring due to the condition is permanent, the liver may be able to repair some of the damage.

Learn more about alcohol-related hepatitis here.

People with hepatitis may not develop any symptoms. However, if they do, they may experience:

Vaccines and vaccine schedules depend on the type of hepatitis.

Hepatitis A

There are two types of hepatitis A vaccines.

People who receive the single-dose hepatitis A vaccine will get two single-dose injections, with a 6-month interval between them.

The other type is a combination vaccine that protects against both hepatitis A and B. A person will receive three injections over a period of 6 months.

Hepatitis B

A person will receive two, three, or four injections.

According to the CDC, infants should receive their first dose of the HBV vaccine at birth and then complete the schedule at 6 months old.

Children who have not had a vaccine and teenagers aged 19 years old or younger should also receive the vaccination. Healthcare professionals also recommend the vaccine for adults who have not had it.

Hepatitis C

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening adults for hepatitis C with blood tests.

Hepatitis D

Although there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis D, people can get the hepatitis B vaccine to help prevent hepatitis D.

It is of note that the hepatitis B vaccine will not protect a person from hepatitis D if they already have chronic hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve a vaccine for hepatitis E in the U.S. However, China approved an HEV vaccine for use in that country in 2012.

Hepatitis G

There is no vaccine for hepatitis G.

People should consult a doctor if they have not yet received a vaccination or believe they may have come into contact with a hepatitis virus.

Pregnant people should undergo screening for HBV to ensure that the fetus is safe.

A doctor will recommend a blood test to determine the presence and type of viral hepatitis.

The test can also help establish the severity of the infection, whether it is active or dormant, and whether it is acute or chronic.

Hepatitis is an infection of the liver. The condition can be acute or chronic.

There are different types of hepatitis, including viral and noninfectious.

Some people with hepatitis may experience mild symptoms or none at all. However, complications from the condition can be severe if a person does not receive treatment.