- Incubation Period: Two weeks to five months, although hepatitis C can remain dormant for 10 years before symptoms crop up.
- Symptoms: When symptoms are present, they are much the same for all five types of hepatitis: mild flu-like symptoms, light stools, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes), fatigue, and fever. Hepatitis A symptoms may also include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
- Testing: All types of hepatitis are diagnosed with a blood test.
- Treatment: Types A and E hepatitis usually resolve over time. If you're traveling to a country where hepatitis A is prevalent, two doses of a vaccine can prevent the disease. There's no vaccine for hepatitis E. For hepatitis B, anti viral medications may help some patients. But like type A, a vaccine that's given in three doses can prevent the disease in the first place. (In fact, hepatitis B is the only STD that's preventable with a vaccine, according to Planned Parenthood.) For hepatitis C and D, interferon and other drugs may help some patients, but there is no vaccine for either type.
- If you are not treated: Because types A and E usually go away over time, neither is likely to lead to chronic disease. Types B and C, however, can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer if not treated; type D can also result in liver cancer.