Hepatitis — Quick report on risk factors

Nowadays, the most common cause of Hepatitis is the viral infection that affects the overall architecture and damage to liver function and structure. There are a few infectious agents that have special attraction for some organs. Same is true for Hepatitis viruses that attack liver cells only after entering the human body.

Hepatitis Virus Family:

Hepatitis virus family constitute following members, with a brief detail on the nature of infection caused by them.

Hepatitis A: (Virus enter the body by oral route)

Portal of entry:

Hepatitis A virus causes acute infection (in other words there is no chronic carrier state or chance of lifelong infection) that gain access into the body by contaminated food and beverages with the virus.

Sign and symptoms:

Early sign and symptoms of infections are the jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. The infection is mild and self limiting in most of the cases, but in some cases hospitalization may be required.

Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C: (Virus is secreted in body secretions)

Portal of entry:

The risk factors for developing Hepatitis B virus are:

  • Intravenous drug abusers
  • Sex workers, unprotected sex and multiple sex partners
  • From mother to baby via birth through infected vaginal canal.

Sign and symptoms:

Hepatitis B and C, both cause chronic infections. In simple words, once the infection develops, liver cells cover only a downhill course and so far there is no cure. Although symptoms may be controlled and progression of disease may be slowed by using some anti-viral drugs but it cannot be stopped.
Sign and symptoms include an initial period of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, which may be self limiting. After sometime chronic infection occurs that deteriorates functioning of liver slowly and continuously ending in “Cirrhosis”. Cirrhosis is the terminal liver disease that leads to a number of complications like variceal bleeding, varicose veins, ascites (a condition in which abdomen becomes filled with body fluid leading to a distended abdomen), enlarged veins at the level of umbilicus (belly-button) and bleeding disorders. Cirrhosis may even lead to Liver cancer, which has a very high death rate.
The only treatment is Liver transplantation, a surgery that is not tolerated by many individuals.

Hepatitis D: (chronic infection)

Portal of entry: This is a defective virus that requires the concurrent infection of Hepatitis B in a person. It gains access within the body by body secretions like semen, blood and serum.

Sign and symptoms

Sign and symptoms are similar to Hepatitis B, but are more severe.

Hepatitis E: (acute infection only)

Portal of entry: Hepatitis E is acquired by oral route (due to ingestion of food and water contaminated with Hepatitis E virus.

Sign and symptoms:

It causes only a mild disease in normal adults but may lead to liver failure in pregnant women.

Tips to avoid Hepatitis family:

It is very simple to minimise potential threat from hepatitis viruses. All it requires is maintaining natural and risk-free lifestyle:

  • Maintaining caution in sexual relations and avoiding unprotected sex.
  • Use of only screened blood products.
  • Washing hands after using restrooms and eating healthy and clean food.
Published On: February 19th, 2021 / Categories: General Health /

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