Voyage Medical

What is Hepatitis A and B?

Types of Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Among the most frequent causes of this inflammation are the viruses known as hepatitis A and C. Hepatitis B  and related inflammation may develop into chronic inflammation, which can result in long-term liver damage and other problems. The immune system of the body reacts in order to combat hepatitis viruses when they enter the bloodstream and target liver cells. Damage to the liver can stop the body from digesting vital nutrients and getting rid of pollutants. 

Without therapy, viral hepatitis can result in cirrhosis, or liver scarring, which impairs liver function. Hepatitis B that is left untreated can potentially cause liver cancer. Each of the three types of hepatitis A, and B is brought on by a distinct hepatitis virus. These viruses are all spreadable. Contaminated food, water, or direct contact with an infected person can all spread hepatitis A. Through contact with biological fluids like blood or semen, hepatitis B and C can spread. These viruses can harm individuals of any age, including newborns if the mother infects her kid while giving birth. 

Each variety of hepatitis has unique traits, and depending on the virus that is causing your condition, your doctor will decide how best to treat you. 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is an infection with the hepatitis A virus that results in liver inflammation. After an infection, symptoms may take weeks to manifest, and some people experience no symptoms at all. Even before symptoms appear and for up to a week after they do, this illness can be transmitted from one person to another. Water and meals that have been tainted by minute amounts of the virus-containing feces can spread hepatitis A. This is more typical in places with bad sanitation. Unprotected intercourse is another way that Hepatitis A can spread from one person to another. 

Hepatitis A is an acute, or transient, illness. When symptoms appear, a serious sickness that necessitates hospitalization and IV fluids may result. After a few weeks or months, the body naturally recovers from the infection in the majority of people. A person may occasionally experience a second flare-up a few months later before recovering again, typically permanently. Doctors advise getting vaccinated before visiting a place where hepatitis A is prevalent and avoiding foods that can be readily contaminated in order to protect yourself against the disease. These include raw shellfish, tap water, ice cubes, and fresh fruits or vegetables.

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B virus, which causes hepatitis B, causes liver inflammation. Virus-infected individuals may or may not exhibit symptoms, but they are still capable of spreading the infection to others. Jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle aches are among the symptoms. Acute infections are those that last for a short time, while chronic infections last for a very long time even in the absence of symptoms

The risk of infection is influenced by specific circumstances. These include sharing needles when injecting drugs, engaging in unprotected sex, getting a tattoo or body piercing from a person who doesn’t use clean needles, men having sex with other men, visiting regions where hepatitis B is prevalent, undergoing prolonged dialysis, and sharing objects like a toothbrush or razor with an infected person. Hepatitis B can be spread by coming into contact with contaminated objects like  toothbrush or razor as mentioned, where the virus can survive for days. It can also be spread by contact with bodily fluids including saliva, blood, and semen.

If hepatitis persists for more than six months, it is deemed chronic. In the majority of cases, the hepatitis B virus is defeated by the body within a few months without causing any long-term liver damage. However, in some people, hepatitis B develops into a chronic condition that can cause liver damage or cancer

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