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Hepatitis at a Glance




Hepatitis at a Glance

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition caused due to viral infection in the liver. It can either be acute or chronic depending on its duration. Acute hepatitis lasts for less than 6 months, while chronic hepatitis lasts for more than 6 months.

The condition is classified in four main types; Hepatitis A, B, C, and Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH):

Hepatists A: The infection is caused by hepatitis A virus. It is classified as acute hepatitis/ liver disease, as the condition lasts for no longer than two months. However, it can be prevented by vaccination and proper hygiene as Hepatitis A spreads through contaminated food and water.

Hepatitis B: Type B is also classified as acute hepatitis. However, in severe cases the virus may lead to long term infection causing liver damage. Hepatitis B spreads through the body fluids of an infected person.

Hepatitis C:  The infection is caused by Hepatitis C virus and is a chronic condition. It may cause serious complications like liver failure or liver cancer. The condition spreads by sharing needles or syringes with infected person; unprotected sex, multiple partners etc. increases the risk of infection.

Auto immune hepatitis:  The condition is caused when the body produces antibodies against liver tissue.

Common symptoms of Hepatitis:

Diagnosis: Depending on the condition and type of hepatitis, the physician may ask you to do the following: Blood test, Liver function test, imaging of liver or biopsy in order to check for liver damage.

Treatment: Vaccination is known to be the safest option to prevent the infection caused by Hepatitis virus. However, depending on the type and severity the doctor may recommend the treatment.

Prevention:

  •          Use a condom when you have sex
  •          Do not share needles
  •          Wear latex or plastic gloves if you have to touch blood or other body fluids
  •          Do not share toothbrushes or razors
  •          Do not get a tattoo, or make sure that the needles used have been cleaned properly and are sterile

Stay safe and be protected