8 doctors weighed in:
How are hepatitis a and b different?
8 doctors weighed in

Randy Burgett
General Practice
4 doctors agree
In brief: Hepatitis
Hepatitis a is acute, usually gets better on its own, and is spread in contaminated food and water. Hepatitis b can be both acute or chronic and is spread through blood or other bodily fluids (ie.
Sexual contact, sharing of needles, etc.). Chronic hepatitis b can lead to more serious conditions like cirrhosis causing impaired liver function.

In brief: Hepatitis
Hepatitis a is acute, usually gets better on its own, and is spread in contaminated food and water. Hepatitis b can be both acute or chronic and is spread through blood or other bodily fluids (ie.
Sexual contact, sharing of needles, etc.). Chronic hepatitis b can lead to more serious conditions like cirrhosis causing impaired liver function.
Randy Burgett
Randy Burgett
Answer assisted by Randy Burgett, Medical Student
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2 comments
Dr. Brett Kalmowitz
both have vaccines so if you are at risk, inquire about this. Also, if you have a different liver disease (alcohol, hep c) definitely get vaccinated
Dr. Martin Raff
Patients with chronic hepatitis (B & C most commonly) are also at risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Hepatitis A,B, or C
Hepatitis a is often acute & frequently resolves spontaneously, but may be prolonged & severe.
Hepatitis a is contracted from contaminated food & water. Hepatitis b & c can be both acute or chronic & is spread through contamination with body fluids like blood. Both hep b & c are transmitted through sexual contact or sharing of needles. Vaccines are presently only available for hepatitis a & b.

In brief: Hepatitis A,B, or C
Hepatitis a is often acute & frequently resolves spontaneously, but may be prolonged & severe.
Hepatitis a is contracted from contaminated food & water. Hepatitis b & c can be both acute or chronic & is spread through contamination with body fluids like blood. Both hep b & c are transmitted through sexual contact or sharing of needles. Vaccines are presently only available for hepatitis a & b.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
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