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Hepatitis is a virus that attacks the liver. There are different viruses that cause hepatitis and how it is transmitted vary between types of the illness. The severity and length of infection depends on the type of hepatitis. In some cases, the infection may go away on its own. In more severe cases it may lead to long-term liver problems.

Hepatitis A

People can get hepatitis A through exposure to food or water that is contaminated with feces. This illness is typically self-limiting and usually does not progress to chronic disease. It is a vaccine-preventable illness. Learn more about hepatitis A:

Hepatitis B

You can get hepatitis B through contact with the blood or body fluids of someone living with the virus. A small portion of adults develop chronic hepatitis B, a lifelong illness, which can cause serious liver disease. Most (95%) adults who are exposed to hepatitis B will recover with no lasting illness. Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable illness. Learn more about hepatitis B:

Hepatitis C

You can get hepatitis C through contact with the blood of a person living with the illness. Some people have no symptoms or not realize they have the disease. Others may experience symptoms that appear 6 to 12 weeks after being infected with the virus. The only way to know for sure that you have hepatitis C is to have a blood test. Learn more about hepatitis C:

Hepatitis A and B are vaccine-preventable illnesses so getting immunized is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the virus. There is no hepatitis C vaccine available yet.

If you are living with hepatitis C or would like to learn more about it, the BC Hepatitis C Network can connect you with local support groups in your area; they also have a free helpline, Help4HepBC (1-888-411-7578) that you can call to talk with a peer navigator at any time.

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is a rare disease that is caused by the hepatitis delta virus (HDV). It only occurs in people who are already infected with hepatitis B. If you have hepatitis D, you may notice symptoms like tiredness, loss of appetite, joint pain or nausea. Vaccination against hepatitis B can protect against a hepatitis D infection. Learn more about Hepatitis D.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is a virus that infects the liver. You can get hepatitis E from eating foods or drinking water that has been contaminated by feces. Hepatitis E usually goes away on its own, and most people will fully recover after having an infection. Learn more about Hepatitis E.

Useful Resources

B.C. Hepatitis Network

BC Hepatitis Network provides hepatitis education, peer-to-peer support, peer mentorship and training, hepatitis C screening & linking to care events, connection to services, and advocacy.

Last Updated: July 2022