Blood-borne means able to be spread in the blood. Several types of hepatitis are caused by blood-borne viruses: hepatitis B
, hepatitis C
and hepatitis D
. This means that you can be exposed to these viruses (and the infections they cause) if you come into direct contact with blood that is infected with one of these viruses.
It's important to know how hepatitis viruses are transmitted because this helps prevent exposure. For example, knowing that HCV is a blood-borne virus means that people who re-use needles (and related equipment) are at increased risk of exposure to HCV (or any other blood-borne virus).
Blood-borne transmission is just one of the ways some viruses are spread. Hepatitis A and hepatitis E are spread a different way: the fecal-oral route.
You can find more information about the common viruses that cause hepatitis in Five Hepatitis Virus Types.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease.