Hepatitis D is a type of virus that actually stems from Hep B. This only occurs in about 5% of all Hep B infections, but this coinfection can lead to severe health issues, including a type of liver cancer known as hepatocellular carcinoma. Even with treatment, the combination of Hep D and Hep B can be fatal.
Hepatitis D is transmitted through bodily fluid contact, often through broken skin such as an injection or open wound. Symptoms typically surface within one to two months after exposure and include fever, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice.
This virus is treated with medication to reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of liver damage. However, if left untreated, the only option will be a liver transplant. Thankfully, a highly effective vaccine is available to prevent both Hep B and Hep D. This vaccine has helped to significantly reduce the number of new reported Hep D infections worldwide.