HEPATITIS

VIRAL HEPATITIS

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  • Some viruses attack the liver primarily and they are called hepatitis viruses. The hepatitis viruses are of many types such as types A, B, C, D, E, and G. Commonest amongst these are Hepatitis A, B and Hepatitis caused by B and C viruses may lead to chronic hepatitis.
  • Acute viral hepatitis causes symptoms such as fatigue, fever, listlessness, yellowish colouration of the skin called jaundice dark yellow urine and light-coloured stools. However sometimes acute viral hepatitis may cause very few symptoms .Rarely acute viral hepatitis may cause massive damage to the liver leading to fulminant hepatic failure.
  • In chronic viral hepatitis the symptoms are usually  mild and nonspecific .The most common symptoms might just include chronic fatigue and low grade fever .Chronic viral hepatitis can lead to  progressive liver damage and fibrosis  leading to cirrhosis and also to liver cancer
  • Workers in health care profession, people having multiple sexual partners, intravenous drug abusers, , people who require regular transfusions are  at a high risk for developing hepatitis B and C.
  • VIRAL HEPATITIS A-This is caused by Hepatitis A virus and causes acute hepatitis. Viral hepatitis A never causes chronic hepatitis .The infection travels rapidly from person to person by ingestion of contaminated water and food .This happens more in places where the water is contaminated by fecal waste and hence this mode of disease transmission is called fecal – oral spread. This type of hepatitis may appear as an outbreak involving many members of the same family, same school or work place.
  • HEPATITIS B-This hepatitis was also called serum hepatitis as it was transmitted by blood and blood products, this is also transmitted sexually and through body fluids .The disease can also be transmitted by sharing contaminated needles, needle stick injuries, using contaminated needles for body piercing and tattooing and also can be transmitted to the new-born from the mother. About 10 percent of the cases of hepatitis B become chronic. These patients are at a higher risk to have cirrhosis and liver cancer
  • hepatitis B and CHEPATITIS C- Hepatise C is also spread like hepatitis B. However more than 50 percent of patients infected with hepatitis C develop chronic disease. These patients are more likely to have cirrhosis and develop liver failure and liver cancer
  • HEPATITIS D or DELTA HEPATITIS- This virus cannot exist alone and needs concomitant infection with HBV to survive.  This is because it requires the envelope protein of hepatitis B virus to infect liver cells. This virus also spreads in the same way as hepatitis B. Patients with combined B and D infection are difficult to treat and develop kliver cirrhosis and cancer.
  • HEPATITIS E – Hepatitis E is like hepatitis A and is transmitted through unsanitary conditions and fecal – oral  route
  • HEPATITIS G- This is a recently detected virus that infects the liver and  behaves like hepatitis C virus

 

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