How Many People Have Hepatitis?

We Break Down the Acute and Chronic Infection Numbers

The hepatitis C virus.
The hepatitis C virus. Laguna Design/Getty Images

If you have viral hepatitis, you might be wondering: How many people have hepatitis?

You're not alone.

It's estimated that up to 5.3 million people in the U.S. are living with chronic hepatitis B or C infection. That's an astounding 2 percent of our population.

While viral hepatitis is one of the most important causes of chronic liver disease in the U.S., it's also a worldwide problem, and millions of people are at risk for its complications.

Yet in some ways the situation is improving. There are vaccines for hepatitis A and B, and chronic hepatitis has encouraging treatment outcomes. And new treatments and vaccines are being researched.

With progress like this, the numbers of new infections should continue to fall.

How Many People Have Hepatitis?

Hepatitis B and C are most common in the U.S. As mentioned above, more than 5 million Americans may have chronic hepatitis B or C. We'll break the numbers down:

Hepatitis A

In 2013, there were an estimated 3,473 new hepatitis A virus infections in the U.S. This number is estimated because, often, hepatitis A infection will have no symptoms and the disease will go unreported.

For the most part, fewer people are getting infected every year. Since 1995, infection rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically. This was the year that the hepatitis A vaccine became available and is probably the reason for the drop in the number of cases.

Hepatitis B

In 2013, there were an estimated 19,764 new hepatitis B virus infections in the U.S. As with the number for hepatitis A, this number is also an estimate because many HBV infections have no symptoms and aren't reported.

It's estimated that there are 700,000 to 1.4 million people with chronic hepatitis B infection in the U.S.

Worldwide, approximately 240 million people are infected. More than 780,000 people die from hepatitis B virus complications each year.

Hepatitis C

In 2013 there were an estimated 29,718 new hepatitis C Virus in the U.S.

An estimated 3.5 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus in the U.S. and 130 to 150 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection worldwide.

In 2013, there were 19,368 HCV-related deaths in the U.S. More than half of these were in people ages 55 to 64.

Hepatitis D

Worldwide, hepatitis D virus infects more than 10 million people.

As many as 20 percent of people infected with hepatitis D will die from the disease.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is a serious problem in East Asia and South Asia. It's rare in the U.S.

Worldwide, there are an estimated 20 million new hepatitis E infections every year. More than 3 million of these cases are symptomatic, and an estimated 56,600 people die from hepatitis E-related complications.

It can be a very dangerous disease for pregnant women, because almost 20 percent of those infected with the virus will die from hepatitis E in their third trimester.

More Hepatitis Information

If you're interested in learning more information about hepatitis, visit these articles that cover the basics:


Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis – United States, 2013. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. October 19, 2015.

Hepatitis. World Health Organization.

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