With five different types of viral hepatitis, it can be unmanageable to understand the differences between them. Some forms of hepatitis get more attention than others, but it is still crucial to know how they are transmitted, what they do, and the steps that you can take to protect yourself and your liver-colored !
This is part two in a three-part series.
What is Hepatitis?
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hepatitis means “ excitement of the liver ”. A liver can become inflamed for many reasons, such as excessively much alcohol, forcible injury, autoimmune response, or a reaction to bacteria or a virus. The five most common hepatitis viruses are A, B, C, D, and E. Some hepatitis viruses can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver failure, or even liver cancer. damage to the liver reduces its ability to officiate and makes it harder for your body to filter out toxins .
Hepatitis A vs. Hepatitis B
While hepatitis A and B both impact the liver, the two viruses differ greatly from one another. hepatitis B is a blood-borne pathogen ; its primary mode of infection is through lead blood-to-blood contact with an infect person. In contrast, hepatitis A can be spread by fecal-oral transmission or by consuming food or water that has been contaminated. It is crucial to note that a person cannot contract hepatitis B through fooling interactions such as holding hands, sharing a meal with, or eating foods prepared by person who is infected. There is no need to keep plates and utensil branch. however, hepatitis A can be spread through food that is prepared by an infect person. Hepatitis A is chiefly caused by inadequate sanitation and personal hygiene. Poor sanitation and hygiene can be the result of a miss of all-important infrastructure like waste management or fairly water system systems. It can besides result from a lack of education .
Hepatitis A is an acute infection ; the virus typically stays in the body for a short come of clock and most people make a fully recovery after respective weeks. recently, the United States has seen a rise in hepatitis A infections. The get up is partially attributed to a growing dispossessed population and increases in injection drug consumption. You can track hepatitis A outbreak in the United States by using this map .
Unlike hepatitis B, which rarely has symptoms, people infected with hepatitis A broadly develop symptoms four weeks after exposure. however, children under the age of 6 much do not show any symptoms. Oftentimes, an infect adult will experience nausea, vomiting, fever, black urine, or abdominal pain. Older children and adults with hepatitis A will typically experience jaundice, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ). once a person makes a recovery, they can not be reinfected. Their body develops protective antibodies that will recognize the virus and fight it off if it enters their system again. Hepatitis A rarely causes lasting liver-colored damage, but in a small share of individuals, it can cause acute liver failure called fulminant hepatitis. Some people with hepatitis A tactile property ill enough that they need to be hospitalized to receive fluids and supportive caution.
On the other hand, hepatitis B begins as a short-run infection, but in some cases, it can progress into a chronic, or life-long, infection. Chronic hepatitis B is the world ’ s leading causal agent of liver-colored cancer and can lead to serious liver-colored diseases such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. Most adults who become infected with hepatitis B develop an acute infection and will make a wide recovery in approximately six months. however, about 90 % of infect newborns and up to 50 % of young children will develop a life-long infection. This is because hepatitis B can be transmitted from an infect beget to her child due to exposure to her blood. many septic mothers do not know they are infected and therefore can not work with their physicians to take the necessary precautions to prevent infection. It is extremely authoritative for all meaning women to get tested for the hepatitis B – if they are infected, transmission to their baby can be prevented !
There are vaccines to protect people against both hepatitis A and hepatitis B. If you are unvaccinated and believe that you have been exposed to hepatitis A, you should contact your doctor or local anesthetic health department to get tested. If you were exposed by consuming contaminated food, the health department can work with you to identify the informant of vulnerability and prevent a likely outbreak. Depending on the situation and when you were exposed, your doctor may administer postexposure prophylaxis ( PEP ) to help prevent the infection or lessen its shock. For hepatitis A, PEP is given in the form of one drug of the vaccine or immune goblin .
For unvaccinated individuals, PEP is besides recommended after a possible photograph to hepatitis B and is normally given as a dose of the vaccine. In certain cases, a doctor will recommend that a affected role meet both the vaccine and a dose of hepatitis B immune globulin ( HBIG ) for extra protective covering. As recommended by the CDC, all infants born to hepatitis B surface antigen positive mothers ( HBsAg positive ) should receive both a venereal disease of the hepatitis B vaccine and a drug of HBIG within 12 hours of birth in arrange to prevent transmission. As time is crucial in the prevention of disease, a healthcare supplier should be notified ampere quickly as possible after a potential exposure .
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hepatitis A and B vaccines can protect you for life ! The hepatitis A vaccine is given in 2-doses over the span of six months and the hepatitis B vaccine is given in 3-doses over the course of six months ; there is even a 2-dose hepatitis B vaccine now available in the U.S. ! You can besides ask your doctor about getting the combination vaccine for hepatitis A and B together, which will reduce the count of shots you need .
The CDC recommends that people living with chronic hepatitis B besides get vaccinated for hepatitis A to protect themselves against another liver-colored infection and likely liver damage. While the hepatitis A vaccine is routinely given to children in the United States, other countries have different vaccine recommendations, so check with your repair to see if you have been vaccinated. Hepatitis A can besides be prevented by dear hygiene practices like washing your hands with soap and hot water after using the bathroom or before preparing food, but the best kind of prevention is always vaccination !