Hepatitis

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is "inflammation of the liver". The most common cause of infection is one of the five viruses, called Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. All of these viruses can cause an acute disease with symptoms lasting several weeks including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice); dark urine; extreme fatigue; nausea; vomiting and abdominal pain.

A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body. Hepatitis B is also transmitted by sexual contact.

Among all the forms of hepatitis, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a major cause of concern worldwide.

Cause of Hepatitis:-

  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Toxins
  • Some medications and certain medical conditions can also cause hepatitis
  • Unsafe injections practices
  • Prenatal (from mother to baby at birth)
  • blood transfusions
  • Hepatitis Virus is transmitted between people by contact with the blood or other body fluids (i.e. semen and vaginal fluid) of an infected person.
  • Modes of transmission are the same for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but HBV is 50 to 100 times more infectious Unlike HIV, HBV can survive outside the body for at least 7 days. During that time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of a person who is not infected.

Symptoms:-

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Dark urine
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Prevention of Hepatitis B

Keeping away from contact with the blood and body fluids, including semen and vaginal secretions of infected persons is the most efficient way of preventing any infection from setting in.

Avoid sharing personal items such as razors and toothbrushes with individuals who are infected with the hepatitis B virus.

Use latex condoms to prevent getting infected through sexual contact.

Vaccines protecting against Hepatitis B are available and should be seriously considered by people exposed to a high risk of infection such as those who receive blood transfusions, share needles for drug use or have multiple sex partners.

Individuals who come into direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a carrier of the Hepatitis B virus may receive one or more injections of the hepatitis B immune globulin, sometimes together with the hepatitis B vaccine. The immune globulin offers temporary protection, while the vaccine provides long-lasting immunity against the disease.

Adequate supplies of safe-drinking water and proper disposal of sewage within communities, combined with personal hygiene practices, such as regular hand-washing, reduce the spread of HAV.

About vaccine:-

Its vaccine consist of three vaccine injections and are given with the second injection at least one month after the first dose and the third injection given six months after the first dose. Afterward an immune system antibody to HBsAg is established in the bloodstream. The antibody is known as anti-HBsAg. This antibody and immune system memory then provide immunity to hepatitis B infection.