Hepatitis- What is hepatitis, types, symptoms & prevention
Hepatitis refers to viral inflammation of the liver tissue. There are several different factors that can cause hepatitis such as several medications, health conditions and over consumption of alcohol. However, one of the most common causes of hepatitis is viral infections.
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a medical condition characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the liver. There are many possible causes of hepatitis with the most common one being viral infection. According to World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 354 million people are currently living with this disease. In order to increase awareness among people, a World Hepatitis Day is observed every year on 28 July by WHO and all other health organizations around the world.
What are the different types of Hepatitis?
There are five different types of hepatitis with different virus being responsible for different types of viral hepatitis.
- Hepatitis A: This is an acute short term disease caused due to the infection from Hepatitis A virus also known as HAV. It is often spread due to contaminated water or food or even close physical contact with an infected person.
- Hepatitis B: This type is a chronic ongoing condition caused by Hepatitis B virus. According to a survey, an estimated 257 million people are living with this condition worldwide. This condition, however, gets transmitted only through contact with direct body fluids or sexual contact.
- Hepatitis C: Caused by Hepatitis C virus, this is a common bloodborne viral infection that presents itself as a long term condition. It gets spread when the contaminated blood from an infected person enter into the bloodstream of an uninfected person or sexual contact.
- Hepatitis D: This rare type of disease only occurs when a person is already suffering from hepatitis B. This virus also causes liver inflammation just like any other strains but one cannot contract HDV without preexisting Hepatitis B condition.
- Hepatitis E: HEV exposure mainly occurs in areas with poor sanitation and results from ingestion of fecal matter contaminating the water supply.
What are the common symptoms of Hepatitis?
There are some chronic forms of Hepatitis such as Hepatitis B and C that presents no symptoms in most of the patients until the liver gets damaged irreparably. However, there are some common symptoms of other infectious hepatitis diseases such as:
- Flu like symptoms
- Pale stool
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in abdominal area
- Weight loss
- Jaundiced eyes and skin
It is through these symptoms and some other liver tests and blood tests that helps the best hepatologist in Faridabad like Accord to diagnose the hepatitis condition.
How can Hepatitis be prevented?
In addition to minimizing your risk of contracting hepatitis by avoiding any exposure to substances containing these viruses, there are several vaccines available with that provide ample protection. Hepatitis vaccines are administered to all newborns over their prescribed course. Vaccines for Hepatitis A, B are available with all the best hepatologist in Faridabad. Vaccination against Hepatitis B provides protection against D too. However, currently there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C and E. The only way to avoid contracting these is to practice effective hygiene and using barrier methods like condoms during sexual activity for decreasing the risk of infection.