Worldwide 1 in 12 people have chronic hepatitis B or C = 500 million people

Alphabet of the common hepatitis viruses

Note: Co-infection with more than one of the hepatitis viruses has a serious impact on the prognosis for chronically infected persons. People infected with hepatitis C should be tested and, if susceptible, vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.

Hepatitis A

Mode of transmission: Faecal-oral (poor hygiene)
Vaccine preventable: Yes
Chronic carrier state: No
Estimated chronic cases in NZ: N/A
Treatment:  None, but infection is seldom fatal. Hepatitis A is notifiable by doctors to the Medical Officer of Health, so that outbreak control measures may be taken, including the protection of contacts by immune globulin and vaccine.

Hepatitis B (HBV)

Mode of transmission: Blood and body fluids
Vaccine preventable: Yes
Chronic carrier state: Yes
Estimated chronic cases in NZ: 110,000
Treatment:  Treatments currently funded are Pegylaterd Interferon, Entecavir (Baraclude), Adefovir (Hepsera), Tenofovir (Viread) & Lamivudine (ZeffixTM)

Hepatitis C (HCV)

Mode of transmission: Blood and body fluids
Vaccine preventable: No
Chronic carrier state: Yes
Estimated chronic cases in NZ: 55,000 (est. 1,300 new cases annually)
Treatment:  Pegylated Interferon & Ribavirin can suppress viral replication (i.e. provide a cure) in over half of the chronic cases. 

Hepatitis D (delta virus)

Mode of transmission: Blood and body fluids (only if infected with B)
Vaccine preventable: Yes (i.e. if vaccinated for B)
Chronic carrier state: Yes (only if infected with B)
Estimated chronic cases in NZ: Not known
Note: 
Hepatitis D, or delta (HDV), is a hitch-hiker that can exist only along with hepatitis B and causes more severe hepatitis. At present it is found mainly in HBV carriers born in certain Pacific Islands (Western Samoa, Nuie and Nauru) and in intravenous drug users, but is uncommon amongst Maori.

Hepatitis E

Mode of transmission: Faecal-oral
Vaccine preventable: No
Chronic carrier state: No
Estimated chronic cases in NZ: N/A
Treatment: None, but seldom serious.

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