Hepatitis D

Topic Overview

Infection with the hepatitis D virus (HDV), or delta agent, occurs only in people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

  • HDV infection may make HBV infection more severe.
  • In people who have long-term (chronic) HBV infection, HDV infection can make liver disease worse. Or it can cause a person who did not have symptoms before to develop liver problems more rapidly.
  • Some people who have hepatitis D also have severe hepatitis B.
  • Vaccination against hepatitis B will also prevent hepatitis D virus infection.
  • Hepatitis D virus infection is rare in the United States.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: January 26, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
W. Thomas London MD - Hepatology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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