Please be patient! It may take up to ONE minute to load all the Engines.
Problems? Please contact our support.
Delta agent (Hepatitis D)
Alternative namesHepatitis D virus
DefinitionHepatitis D infection involves a defective viral agent that causes symptoms only in association with hepatitis B infection.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Hepatitis D virus may increase the severity of an acute hepatitis B infection, aggravate previously existing hepatitis B liver disease , or cause symptoms in previously asymptomatic hepatitis B carriers.
Hepatitis D infects about 15 million people worldwide, occuring in 5% of people with hepatitis B.
Risk factors include the following:
Hepatitis D may increase the severity of symptoms associated with all forms of hepatitis B .
Signs and tests
Treatment is the same as for hepatitis B .
Expectations are similar to those of acute hepatitis B. The acute illness usually subsides over 2 to 3 weeks, and the liver enzyme levels return to baseline within 16 weeks.
About 10% of people infected may develop chronic hepatitis.
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of hepatitis B occur.
Prompt recognition and treatment of hepatitis B infection can help prevent hepatitis D.
Avoid intravenous drug abuse. If IV drugs are used, avoid sharing needles.
There is a vaccine available to prevent hepatitis B and should be considered by people who are at risk due to IV drug use, exposure to blood products, or sexual behaviors.
Update Date: 11/9/2002Eleftherios Mylonakis, M.D., Division of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT