WHAT IS VIRAL HEPATITIS? newsinsiderway
Viral Hepatitis: This is the inflammation and necrosis of the liver caused by a virus or group of viruses.
There are other types of hepatitis including hepatotoxic and drugs related hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis.
Types of Viral Hepatitis
There are many types of viral hepatitis
Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G e.t.c
HEPATITIS B: It is caused by the Hepatitis B virus. A DNA hepadna virus with a partially double-stranded DNA genome.
HEPATITIS C: This is a serious and often-silent liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus – a single stranded RNA virus.At least six major genotypes have been identified.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION
Hepatitis B and C viruses are transmitted by contacts with infected blood or blood products
For example, via contaminated needles (including unsterilized tattoo needles), accidental needle-sticks in healthcare workers, and unprotected sex, sharing nailclippers, razors, or toothbrushes . newsinsiderway
-Unscreened Blood Transfusions.
OTHER MODES OF TRANSMISSION
It can also be present in saliva, semen and vaginal secretions and through HbsAg positive mothers to child (maternal-neonatal transmission). Hepatitis B is prevalent in homosexuals and intravenous drug users but most cases result from heterosexual transmission. The incubation period of hepatitis B is 6 weeks to 6 months (average of 12 – 14 weeks). That of Hepatitis C is between 6-7 weeks and clinical illness is often mild, usually asymptomatic.
Signs and Symptoms
Hepatitis C has been called “the silent killer” because the virus often hides in the body for years, escaping detection as it attacks the liver. Since most people don’t have warning signs of hepatitis C (or don’t know how or when they were infected).
They don’t seek treatment until many years later. By the time hepatitis C symptoms appear or a diagnosis is made, the damage often is well underway.