Difference in A & B


Jaundice Common symptoms for viral Hepatitis A and B are yellowness of the eyes, skin and urine. Jaundice can also be caused by Hepatitis C, D, E and other viruses.
Through contaminated food and water Through contaminated blood and body fluids
Hepatitis A (HAV) Hepatitis B (HBV)
Sources of infections Ingestion of contaminated water and raw or insufficiently cooked food. Fruits/vegetables/seafood. Cooked food handled by infected individuals. Close person–to–person contact (within families/schools/day care centers etc). Contact with infected blood and body fluids. Having sex with infected person or multiple partners. Infected mother to new born. Contaminated IV needles, tattoo/body piercing and sharp instruments.
Who is at risk? Young and adolescent children unexposed to infection in early childhood because of improved standards of living. Household/outside contact with an infected person can lead to infection. Infant born to an infected mother, people having sex with an infected person or multiple partners, IV drug users, health care workers and hemodialysis patients.
Onset of clinical disease Usually abrupt. Usually gradual.
Clinical symptoms last for Six weeks to three months. Six weeks to three months.
Severity Age–dependent. Symptoms more severe and common in adolescents and adults. May require hospitalization occasionally, and in some cases, may lead to death. About 10% of the cases may relapse. Age–dependent and occasionally severe. May lead to the chronic carrier stage. Can also develop into fulminant hepatitis.
Signs and symptoms Light stools, dark urine, fatigue, fever and jaundice. Carriers may have no symptoms. Some people may have mild flu–like symptoms – fever, dark urine, light stools, jaundice, fatigue.
Treatment No effective treatment. Interferon is effective in certain select cases.
Prevention Yes, vaccine is available. Immunoglobulin is also available. Yes, vaccine is available. Immunoglobulin is also available.
Other preventive measures Maintain personal hygiene. Eat well cooked food (steaming may not be enough). Drink boiled water only. Ensure proper sewage disposal. Safe sex. Clean up any infected blood with bleach and wear protective gloves. Do not share razors or toothbrushes.
India and Hepatitis A The extra incidence of Hepatitis A in India is not known. Indian literature is replete with numerous reports of sporadic and epidemic occurrences of the disease in various cities, residential colonies and campuses. Epidemics of Hepatitis A often evolve slowly, involve wide geographical areas and last many months, but common source epidemics (e.g., fecal contamination of drinking water) may evolve explosively.