Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. The condition is self-limiting but sometimes process to scarring called cirrhosis of the liver. It can also progress to liver cancer.
The most common cause of hepatitis in the world is virus. Through infection, toxicities like alcohol, drugs and some autoimmune diseases can also cause this condition.
Hepatitis could be type A,B, C,D and E. These 5 types are of greatest concern, because they are potential epidemic.
Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water, while B, C and D usually occur as a result of parental contact with infected body fluids. This could happen due to contaminated medical equipments, mother to child at birth, sexual contact or contaminated equipment.
Symptoms of acute infection occurs as jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Different hepatitis identified by A, B, C, and E. All these cause liver disease, though vary in important ways.
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) is present in the faeces of an infected person. This gets transmitted through contaminated water or food. It can spread through certain sexual practises too. If the infection is mild the person recovers and acquires immunity to the strain. It can be severe and life threatening though. The outbreak of this strain is seen in places where sanitation is poor.—vaccines are available for this.
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is transmitted through exposure to infected blood, semen and other body fluids. HBV can be transmitted from infected mothers to infants at the time of birth or from family member to infant in early childhood. Transmission may also occur through transfusions of HBV- contaminated blood and blood products or medical procedural equipment. Health care workers are also at the risk of HBV.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is mostly transmitted through exposure of infected blood. This is transmitted through blood, body fluids, and contaminated medical equipments. Sexual transmission is also possible but it’s less common. There is vaccine for HCV.
Hepatitis D Virus (HDV) infections occur only in those who are infected with HBV. The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in more serious disease and worse outcome. Hepatitis B vaccines provide protection from HDV infection.
Hepatitis e virus (HEV) is transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. HEV is a common cause of hepatitis outbreaks in developing parts of the world and is increasingly recognized an important cause of disease developed countries. Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed though not widely available.