Hepatitis. FAQs

01. Can Hep B or Hep C be spread within a household?

Yes, but this does not occur very often. If Hepatitis C virus is spread within a household, it is most likely a result of direct, through-the-skin exposure to the blood of an infected household member.

02. What is the risk of a pregnant woman passing Hep B or Hep C to her baby?

Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can be passed from mother to baby at birth. The risk is higher for women who have both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. There are effective methods for reducing the risk of transmission at birth. If you are pregnant, you should let your doctor know if you have Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.

03. Should a woman with Hep B or Hep C virus infection avoid breastfeeding?

No. There is no evidence that breastfeeding spreads the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus. However, precautions should be taken if a mother with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C has cracked or bleeding nipples

04. Can a person spread hepatitis without having symptoms?

Yes, even if a person with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C has no symptoms, he or she can still spread the virus to others.

05. Can a person get the Hep B or Hep C virus from a mosquito or other insect bites?

No, the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus has not been shown to be transmitted by mosquitoes or other insects.

06. Can I donate blood if I have tested positive for Hep B or Hep C?

If you have ever had Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, you must NOT donate blood, as the virus can spread through transfusion of contaminated blood, with serious consequences for the patient receiving the transfusion. Click here for more information.

07. How serious is chronic Hep B and Hep C?

Chronic Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infection can be very serious resulting in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer, or even death. They are major causes of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

08. Can a person be infected with both the Hep B and Hep C viruses

Yes, a person can be infected with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. This is sometimes called “coinfection.”

09. Can a person have normal liver enzyme (e.g., ALT) level and still have Hep B or Hep C?

Yes. It is common for persons with chronic Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C to have a liver enzyme level that goes up and down, with periodic returns to normal or near normal. Some people with hepatitis have liver enzyme levels that are normal for over a year even though they have chronic liver disease.

10. Can I be re-infected with Hep C virus if I have cleared the virus?

Yes. If you have been infected with the Hepatitis C virus and cleared the virus, or if you have been successfully treated and cured, you can be re-infected with the Hepatitis C virus.