We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Hepatitis D?

By K T Solis
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Hepatitis D, also known as hepatitis delta, is a viral infection of the liver that is contracted by intravenous drug users, people who have multiple sexual partners, people who engage in unprotected sex, and hemophiliacs. Employees in medical institutions and those who work in tattoo parlors are often at a high risk of contracting the virus as well. A person who contracts this virus must also be infected with the virus hepatitis B.

The person may already have chronic hepatitis B virus before contracting hepatitis D, or the viruses may be contracted simultaneously. People who suffer from both viruses experience severer symptoms than those who only have hepatitis B. Those with hepatitis D are at a higher risk of liver failure as well.

The virus is spread through the exchange of infected blood or bodily fluids. If people share toothbrushes, nail clippers or razors, they can also exchange the hepatitis virus. Even women who are pregnant can transmit the virus to their unborn babies.

Symptoms of hepatitis D include fatigue, jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, dark urine, pain in the abdomen and joint pain. More serious symptoms involve severe jaundice, enlarged spleen, enlarged liver, altered brain function and aplastic anemia. If a patient is suspected of having the hepatitis D virus, the doctor will conduct a physical examination, liver function tests and blood tests. Liver biopsies may also be required to determine the severity of the condition.

People can prevent the hepatitis delta virus if they avoid contracting hepatitis B. Using sterile needles, avoiding unprotected sex and receiving the hepatitis B vaccine are all ways to protect oneself from hepatitis delta. If a person contracts hepatitis D but does not receive treatment, he or she can develop cirrhosis of the liver that may require a liver transplant. It is possible to die from hepatitis D if patients do not receive medical treatment.

Those with chronic hepatitis delta can be given the antiviral drug alpha interferon if there is no presence of cirrhosis within the liver. On the other hand, patients who suffer from a severe form of this particular type of hepatitis require hospitalization. Vitamin K injections, antibiotics, fluids and blood transfusions are some of the treatments. Patients with this virus need adequate bed rest and a balanced diet designed for those with liver disease. They should also consume extra liquids but avoid alcohol, as this can worsen their condition.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.