What is Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a common name for inflammatory liver diseases. Hepatitis has five types: A, B, C, D, E. Only people having hepatitis B are affected by hepatitis D, and E is a very low-frequency type.
How may Hepatitis be caught?
- Hepatitis A is usually contracted when uninfected (or unvaccinated) person consumes food or water contaminated with this type of hepatitis or contacts with the feces of the infected person during anal and oral sex.
- Hepatitis of B and C types is transmitted hematogenously, that is, through the blood. This virus contained in the blood or other biological fluids of an infected person gets directly into the blood of a healthy person. Hepatitis B and to a lesser extent hepatitis C can be transmitted sexually. Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted from and infected mother to her child during childbirth. This type of hepatitis is also contracted through contact with blood or sperm of infected person, contaminated instruments like needles, shavers, manicure or tatoo tools that haven’t been thoroughly sterilized.
- Type D hepatitis may be transmitted through contact with contaminated instruments or during sexual intercourse with a HIV carrier.
- Type E hepatitis can be passed by oral sex, or drinking contaminated water.
Incubation Period is from two weeks to five months, although hepatitis C can remain latent for a long period of time before symptoms onset and most people do not feel sick immediately after infection.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
The symptoms are common for all types of hepatitis. Some of them are the flu like: fatigue, headache, high temperature up to 38.8 C, loss of appetite, there is also nausea or vomiting. If the condition worsens, jaundice may occur: yellow skin and eye whites, dark urine, colorless feces, pain and stiffness under the right ribs. But there are some cases when the disease is asymptomatic.
To detect any type of hepatitis, blood must be tested.
Modern methods of treatment of chronic viral hepatitis B and C consist in combined antiviral therapy including nucleoside analogs (nucleosides, from which the genetic material of the virus is built, are replaced) and interferons (they enhance the virus control in human cells). This combination allows you to stop the virus replication and to prevent the liver from damage. Combined schemes are used, because these drugs are not effective. But anti viral drugs can provide relief for some infected people. Hepatitis B is the only type that can be prevented by vaccination. There’s no medicine to treat E type hepatitis.
If You Choose Not to Treat Hepatitis
Not treated hepatitis can result in cirrhosis or even cancer of liver.