Difference between hepatitis A and B

Difference between hepatitis A and B

Hepatitis A and B have most likely been mentioned to you before. It’s an inevitable topic, whether you heard about it via the news, a headline, or a coworker who’s had it in the past. However, you may be completely unaware of the dangers of hepatitis A and B, who is most at risk, or how to protect yourself. Take a closer look at the specifics, so you know what to expect and how to stay healthy all year long.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A (HAV) is a liver illness that can be spread by contacting infected people who have the hepatitis A virus. (If you’re unsure, the communicable disease is one that is spread through contact with infected people).

It’s important to note that while hepatitis A is contagious, it is also avoidable. According to the CDC, vaccination is the greatest way to avoid contracting hepatitis A.

HAV infection might last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months if you’ve been exposed to it. The worst-case scenario is that symptoms could last up to six months. The virus that causes hepatitis A is contagious, but it does not potentially become chronic.

Symptoms can appear suddenly and include any or all of the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Dark color to the urine
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • A lack of desire to eat
  • Stools in a clay color scheme
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea

Hepatitis A poses a risk to your liver due to the swelling that occurs due to the virus, which indicates that inflammation and damage are possible. According to the American Liver Foundation, “contrary to popular belief, liver disease can be fatal”. “HAV may result in liver failure in certain people. HAV is responsible for roughly 100 deaths each year in the United States.”


Who, though, is the most vulnerable? The CDC recommends HAV vaccination for the following individuals:

  • Children – starting at one year old.
  • Travelers to nations where HAV infection is endemic at either a high or intermediate level.
  • This includes all countries in development.
  • Drug users, both injectable and non-injectable.
  • Clotting-factor diseases sufferers.
  • Men who engage in heterosexual sexual activity.
  • A person with hepatitis A who has had sexual contact with a healthy person should be tested.
  • Non-human primates are those who work with them
  • Individuals who expect intimate personal interaction with an international adoptive from a hepatitis A-endemic country.
  • All individuals who are six months old are included.
  • Those who suffer from a chronic liver condition.
  • All those who are homeless, regardless of age.


How does hepatitis A spread?

Hepatitis A can be contracted by ingesting even a tiny amount of fecal matter from a sick person.

Infected people can spread the illness to others if they do not wash their hands properly after using the restroom, touch contaminated objects or food, or if a caregiver for a person with HAV does not wash their hands properly after changing a child’s diaper. They can also spread the disease to others through sexual contact with an infected person or a caregiver.

Getting vaccinated against hepatitis A is the best method to avoid catching it, according to the CDC. To avoid contracting this debilitating condition, make an appointment at your nearest immunization clinic now.


Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a contagious liver infection that is similar to hepatitis A which is caused by the hepatitis B virus.

For some people, HBV can develop into a chronic condition that leads to major health problems, including cirrhosis or liver cancer. The CDC recommends the hepatitis B vaccine as the most effective method of preventing infection with hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B infection may or may not cause symptoms, depending on your age.

When it comes to children under the age of five, “most are asymptomatic, but 30-50 percent of those beyond the age of five have signs and symptoms.”

Acute hepatitis B infection symptoms may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • A lack of desire to eat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark color to the urine
  • Constipation is a dark brown color
  • Joint discomfort
  • Jaundice


Acute hepatitis B patients may experience symptoms for two weeks to six months after contracting the virus.

In most cases, individuals with chronic hepatitis B don’t show any symptoms, but they may develop liver disease, such as cirrhosis or liver carcinoma (a type of liver cancer).

HBV is a dangerous condition that can be fatal if left untreated. According to the CDC, “nearly a quarter of people who get chronically infected as children die from cirrhosis or liver cancer before reaching adulthood. Most people are asymptomatic until they develop cirrhosis or end-stage liver disease”.

Hepatitis B-related liver illness kills around 3,000 Americans each year (and more than 600,000 people globally), according to the CDC.

Hepatitis B can be transmitted by skin punctures or mucosal contact with infectious blood or bodily fluids during certain activities.


According to the CDC, they are as follows:

  • Having sex with someone who is diseased.
  • Sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment is injection drug use.
  • Having a child with a sick mother.
  • Contact with an infected person’s blood or open sores.
  • Exposures with needles, tweezers, or other pointed instruments
  • Using an infected person’s razors or toothbrushes.


It is not possible to transfer hepatitis B through food, water, or shared objects, as it is with hepatitis A.

Anyone can contract hepatitis B, but those most at risk are, according to Healthline, include:

  • Workers in the medical field.
  • Men who engage in extramarital sex.
  • Patients receiving intravenous (IV) medication.
  • People who has sex with more than one individual.
  • Those who suffer from a chronic liver condition.
  • People suffering from kidney disorders.
  • People with diabetes at the age of 60 and older.
  • Those who go to countries where HBV infection is common.


As you can see, hepatitis A and B are dangerous infections that can have long-term effects on the liver, even resulting in death in the worst-case scenario. It is critical to get vaccinated against diseases, and it is highly suggested for everybody who may be in danger.

In the United States, three primary Hepatitis vaccines are offered.

  1. Hepatitis A vaccination
  2. Vaccination against hepatitis B
  3. Vaccination against hepatitis A/B.

Adults who are considered 18 years old and older are eligible for Hepatitis A/B vaccination if both the Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines are indicated.


Hepatitis vaccine in Las Vegas

Hepatitis A and B are deadly diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. CDC indicates that the best prevention is vaccination. If you need vaccination, Southern Nevada Occupational Health Centre (SNOHC) provides Hepatitis A and B vaccination in Las Vegas. SNOHC has provided the best occupational health centre in the area for +15 years now. There are other vaccinations and tests and examinations you can receive. Give us a call at (702) 874-4769 to reserve your test or vaccination now.


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