Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver. A number of viruses (viral hepatitis), substances, medications, alcohol, and certain genetic abnormalities, are other factors that can result in liver inflammation.
Hepatitis can have a variety of reasons. A virus is the cause of viral hepatitis, which can be acute (lasting less than six months) or chronic (lasting more than six months). It is possible to contract viral hepatitis from another individual. Sexual contact can spread some viral hepatitis strains.
Types of Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis can be brought on by a number of viruses. Viral hepatitis can take several different forms.
This kind of hepatitis rarely causes problems and does not result in chronic infection. Hepatitis A normally clears up in the liver within a few months.
However, liver failure has occasionally resulted in hepatitis A deaths, and some patients with acute hepatitis A infection needed a liver transplant. Immunization helps protect against hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B can be passed from mother to child as well as by contact with contaminated blood, needles, syringes, or body fluids. It is a chronic condition that, after many years of virus-carrying, can occasionally result in long-term liver damage, liver cancer, and cirrhosis of the liver.
One of the most prevalent causes of liver illness is hepatitis C. Around 75 to 85 percent of hepatitis C patients get a persistent liver infection. It frequently exhibits no symptoms. Hepatitis C cannot be prevented by a vaccine at this time.
Hepatitis D: Only those with a hepatitis B virus infection get hepatitis D. You will be protected from the hepatitis D virus if you have received the hepatitis B vaccine.
Hepatitis E: Consuming tainted food or water is the main method of transmission for this kind of hepatitis. There are many cases worldwide. Although vaccines are accessible, not everywhere has access to them.
Vaccination for viral hepatitis
For hepatitis A;
- Children All kids aged between 12 and 23 months
- All kids and teenagers aged 2 to 18 who have not yet got the hepatitis A vaccine (also known as the “catch up” vaccination)
To get your children vaccinated, click here
For hepatitis B
- All newborns
- Every child and adolescent under the age of 19 who has not received a vaccination
- People who have sex partners who have hepatitis B, sexually active individuals who are not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, and others who are susceptible to infection from sexual exposure
Hepatitis C has no vaccination
To get an adult vaccination, click here
Common methods of transmission include:
sex: If you engage in unprotected sex with an infected person, you could contract hepatitis. If the person’s blood, saliva, semen, or vaginal fluids get into your body, the virus can get into you.
Sharing of sharp objects: Needles and syringes contaminated with infectious blood make hepatitis transmission simple.
Mother and newborn: Positive pregnant mothers can deliver the virus to their unborn children. Almost always, though, the infant can be immunized to avoid contracting the infection.
Prevention of Viral hepatitis
By taking the following precautions, you can protect yourself from contracting hepatitis:
- Quit taking illegal substances, especially if you inject them. Seek assistance if you have used any in the past.
- Be wary of getting tattoos and body piercings. If you decide to get a tattoo or have a piercing, look for a respected place. Before purchasing, enquire as to how the equipment is cleaned. Ensure that the staff uses sterile needles. Find another store if the staff won’t answer your questions.
- Safe Sex. Avoid having intercourse with several partners or anyone whose health status is in question.
Treatment of viral hepatitis
The kind and stage of the illness determine the course of treatment for viral hepatitis. Excellent hepatitis B and C treatments have become accessible in recent years. Every day, new and better treatments are being assessed.
Your primary care physician ought to be able to treat your hepatitis effectively. However, if your hepatitis is severe, a hepatologist or gastroenterologist — who specializes in liver illnesses — may be needed to treat you. Hospitalization is typically not essential unless you are vomiting or unable to eat or drink.