Hepatitis means swelling in the liver. There are many reasons for this, such as bacteria, viruses, excessive drinking, drugs, and autoimmune diseases. Among them, the Hepatitis family of the virus is especially dangerous because it can be spread over a large scale. Even this pandemic can also cause the entire community to be at risk. Although all hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D and E) can cause swelling of the liver. But they are different in individual characteristics.
Important differences between Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E
Hepatitis A and E: Food and Waterborne Virus These two viruses spread through food or drinking water which are contaminated with stools. Symptoms of hepatitis A and E include jaundice ie. yellowing of the skin and eyes, fever, loss of appetite and vomiting. Viral infections can be either mild or severe, and most people become completely healthy when treated properly. However, Hepatitis E can be especially dangerous for pregnant women. Remediation measures include vaccination against Hepatitis A, as well as caution during cleanliness and preparation of food. It is even more important for hepatitis E because there is no vaccine against the virus in India.
Hepatitis D: Delta Virus
People with Hepatitis B are at risk of getting Hepatitis D. The infection caused by the virus causes swelling in the liver which can lead to further liver damage and several liver problems. There is no proper treatment available for hepatitis D, only one can remain alert and stop it.
Hepatitis B and C: Bloodborne Virus
Hepatitis B and C are more dangerous and spread by contact with the blood or body fluids of the infected person. It can be through contaminated needles, syringes, drug injection devices and non-prescribed dental equipment and sharing of hairdresser equipment. Hepatitis B, through unprotected sex, and an infected mother, her baby can be transferred at birth.
Both viruses can cause a short-term (acute infection), in which most people clean the virus from within the body within 6 months and there is no liver damage for long periods of time. There may be a chronic infection in the body, so that the virus remains in the liver for a long time, potentially causing liver cirrhosis, liver failure and even serious complications like cancer.
Hepatitis B can be prevented from the vaccine. For chronic hepatitis B, there are medicines and oral antivirals that help in suppressing the product of virus and most people should continue the treatment for a lifetime. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C yet, but for a short time, more than 95% of patients have specific medicines and direct acting antivirals to cure patients effectively.
Symptoms of hepatitis
During an acute infection, many people can’t develop symptoms, but some of what they do:
- Dark yellow urine
- Gray/clay color stool
- Stomach ache
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
Reduce your risk of sudden health issue by getting regular health checkups, being screened for hepatitis and living a healthy lifestyle.