July 28 is celebrated as World Hepatitis Day. It is very important to understand the disease, know about the types, symptoms, precautions and treatment of the deadly disease, that claims over 1.34 million people every year.
Hepatitis is a disease that affects the liver. While hepatitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the liver, viral hepatitis is caused by five different kinds of viruses.
Here we will discuss about the types of hepatitis, their symptoms, precautions, and treatment.
Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated with infected faeces.
Symptoms: Common symptoms include fatigue, fever, nausea, appetite loss, jaundice, diarrhoea, acholic faeces, and abdominal discomfort. Joint pain is also common as a symptom.
Treatment: Hepatitis A can be prevented through a vaccine that is administered below the age of 10, that gives protection for up to 20 years. Maintaining proper personal hygiene is very important.
Hepatitis B: It is spread through blood or body fluids. It also spreads through drug use and sexual intercourse.
Symptoms: Vomiting, yellowish skin, tiredness, dark urine, abdominal pain and eventually jaundice.
Treatment: An effective vaccine with lifelong protection and 95 percent efficacy is available for hepatitis B.
It is important to eat fully cooked food. Always consume clean water.
Hepatitis C: It spreads through blood-to-blood contact. This is primarily seen in either blood transfusion in poorer countries and intravenous drug use in developed countries.
Symptoms: Fatigue, nausea and vomiting, fever, muscle or joint pains, abdominal pain, decreased appetite and weight loss, jaundice, dark urine, and clay-coloured stools are some of the symptoms seen.
Treatment: Antiviral medications such as sofosbuvir or simeprevir are highly effective for treating even chronic infections. However, access to these antivirals is limited and such treatment can be extremely expensive.
It is very important to stay safe during intercourse and talks with your sexual partner.
Hepatitis D and E exist, but are far less common and deadly than the above three.