How Do You Get Hepatitis B
In the U.S., people usually get hepatitis B infection through sexual transmission or intravenous drug use. In other parts of the world where hepatitis B is more common, such as Southeast Asia, mother-to-child transmission at birth is the most common way people get infected. Unlike hepatitis A infection, hepatitis B has the potential to become a chronic infection that requires lifelong management.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
You may not realize that you’ve come in contact with hepatitis B or C because oftentimes there aren’t any symptoms. You should get tested if you’ve been in any situation that presents a risk of infection, like sharing needles. The CDC also recommends that all pregnant women get tested for hepatitis C.
Some people can be allergic to the hepatitis B vaccine, so you should also see your doctor if you experience any bad reactions after getting one of the doses.
What Is The Outlook
Most people with hepatitis A recover without any complications. Once youve had hepatitis A, you cant get it again. Antibodies to the virus will protect you for life.
Some people may be at an increased risk for serious illness from hepatitis A. These include:
- older adults
acute hepatitis B infections in the United States in 2018.
Also Check: How Long Can You Live With Hepatitis C Untreated
How Do You Get Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can be contracted only through direct blood contact. In the U.S., the primary mode of transmission is blood exposure through sharing needles. Mother-to-child transmission is about 5 percent of cases. Hepatitis C infection might also be a risk for people who received a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before 1992, when widespread testing of the blood supply for hepatitis C began.
How Is Hep C Transmitted
Hepatitis C is transmitted when people come in contact with infected blood. Risks factors include IV drug use and sharing of needles, or having a blood transfusion or being an organ recipient before June of 1992. Other risk factors include use of clotting factors before 1987, being born to a hepatitis C positive mother, and receiving a tattoo or a piercing in unsanitary conditions. Having rough sex where blood is exchanged, or having multiple partners, may also put a person at risk. However, hepatitis C is NOT considered a sexually transmitted disease. Baby Boomers, those born between 1945 and 1965, are at increased risk as well.
Read Also: Hepatitis C Effects On The Body
What Are Hep A Risks
The following put a person at a high risk of acquiring hepatitis A: Traveling in areas where hepatitis A is common, living with an infected person, injecting illicit drugs, having oral/anal contact with another person, working in crowded unsanitary conditions, and even working in a child care facility. The virus is transmitted mainly through the fecal-oral route. Patients may become infected through eating food handled by an infected person, eating shellfish from waters that contain raw sewage, having sex with an infected patient, or and just being in close contact with a person suffering from hepatitis A.
Is There A Hepatitis C Vaccine
No vaccine exists for hepatitis C right now. While efforts to develop a vaccine for this specific strain are ongoing, it’s proven challenging. That’s because hepatitis C tends to avoid immune responses. In other words, a person can catch hepatitis C repeatedly despite past infection, which is what makes it hard to create a vaccine that works for this virus.
There is an effective treatment for hepatitis C, though, and it involves direct-acting antivirals . Thanks to this treatment, WHO aims to cut 80% of hepatitis C cases worldwide by 2030. Researchers across the globe think that a vaccine is needed to accomplish this goal, so creating one is a high priority.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Hepatitis C From Drinking Alcohol
How Is It Treated
Hepatitis A is treated using supportive methods. These can include things like rest, fluids, and healthy foods. Medications can also help to ease some symptoms like fever, aches, and pains.
Theres a vaccine available to protect against infection with HAV. This is typically recommended for children as well as for people at an increased risk for contracting the virus.
Also, receiving a single dose of the hepatitis A vaccine may prevent you from becoming ill if youve been exposed to HAV. For it to be effective, the vaccine needs to be given of exposure.
What Are Hep C Side Effects
Untreated, hepatitis C may cause patients to progress to cirrhosis and possibly liver failure, and/or develop liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis C is the main reason for adult liver transplantation in the United States. Recently, direct-acting antivirals have become available and are curing over 90% of previously difficult to treat genotype 1 patients. There is also no immunity conferred on patients who are cured, meaning that they may get the virus again if they come in contact with infected blood. There is NO preventative vaccine for hepatitis C.1,2,3
Have questions about symptoms? Community members have answers.
Read Also: Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Reactive
What Is The Difference Between Hepatitis A B And C
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting a hepatitis A outbreak in Mississippi and is joining surrounding states and others across the country in fighting this national epidemic.
With this news, you might be wondering what the difference between hepatitis A, B, and C?
In order to answer that question, you first need to answer the question…
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and when the liver is inflamed of damaged, its function can be affected. According to the Center for Disease Control, heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can all cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is often caused by a virus.
In the United States, the most common hepatitis viruses are hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus.
What is the difference between hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C?
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are liver infections caused by three different viruses. Each can cause similar symptoms, but they are spread in different ways and can affect the liver differently. Hepatitis A is usually a short-term infection. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also begin as short-term infections but in some people, the virus remains in the body, and causes chronic infection.
There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B however, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
What is hepatitis A?
The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.
What Are The Risk Factors
Some people are at an increased risk for contracting HAV, including:
- people traveling to areas of the world where hepatitis A is common
- men who have sex with men
- people who use injectable or noninjectable drugs
- caregivers for those who have hepatitis A
- people who are experiencing homelessness
- people living with a child whos been adopted from an area where hepatitis A is common
Don’t Miss: How Do You Hepatitis C
The Deadliest Form Of Hepatitis Is One You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and Yahoo Lifestyle will be shining light on the illness, which affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, with educational articles and first-person accounts.
Youre probably aware that there is more than one form of hepatitis, but its understandable if you cant keep them all straight. After all, there are five main forms of the disease. But while they share the name hepatitis, theyre not exactly the same.
Theyre all caused by different viruses, and they all have different prognoses some can lead to liver cancer, and some dont, infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
At its core, hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, Carlos Romero-Marrero, MD, a hepatologist at the Cleveland Clinic specializing in hepatitis and liver disease, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. But from there, things are a little more nuanced.
Hepatitis as a whole isnt overly common in the United States, but cases of viral hepatitis have been on the rise in recent years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis A, B, and C are the biggest hepatitis viruses in the U.S., William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
Screening For Hepatitis B & C
NYU Langone doctors provide screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, two forms of hepatitis that can become chronic and lead to serious liver damage without treatment.
Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus. These diseases are contagious and can be spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids such as blood and semen. Hepatitis B and C can also be passed from mother to child during birth.
Hepatologists, or liver specialists, and infectious disease specialists at NYU Langone recommend screening for some people who may be at increased risk of becoming infected.
Even though hepatitis B and C may cause no symptoms for years or even decades after infection, the viruses still may damage the liver. For this reason, screening is an important tool for early detection and treatment. It can prevent serious illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and hinder the spread of infection.
Vaccination for hepatitis is also an important prevention tool.
Read Also: Hepatitis B Baby Vaccine Schedule
The Hepatitis B Vaccine
The first version of the hepatitis B vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1981. Since the early 1990s, the World Health Organization has recommended that all countries add the vaccine to their public immunization plans.
Several types of approved hepatitis B vaccines are available, including one suitable for people of all ages, from infants to adults. The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone under age 19 get the vaccine, with infants receiving the first dose at birth. The agency also recommends that most adults get the vaccine, especially those who:
- have sexual or common household contact with someone with hepatitis B
- have more than one sexual partner
- have experienced sexual abuse
- are likely to be in contact with blood and bodily fluids at work
- have other liver conditions, including hepatitis C
- are being treated for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV
The most common version of the vaccine requires three separate doses. There’s also a version that the FDA approved for adults that only requires two doses.
You can get the hepatitis B vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. You’ll never catch hepatitis B from the vaccine.
Combination vaccines also exist that protect against both hepatitis A and B. Once you’re vaccinated against hepatitis B, you should be immune for the rest of your life and won’t need a booster.
Hepatitis C And The Hep C Virus
Hepatitis C is a liver infection that can lead to serious liver damage. Its caused by the hepatitis C virus. About 2.4 million people in the U.S. have the disease. But it causes few symptoms, so most of them don’t know. The virus spreads through an infected persons blood or body fluids.
There are many forms of the hepatitis C virus, or HCV. The most common in the U.S. is type 1. None is more serious than any other, but they respond differently to treatment.
Also Check: What Is Hepatitis B Vaccine For
How Do You Treat Hepatitis C
When Dr. Fried started treating hepatitis C in 1990, the cure rate was 7 percent. Treatments have evolved since then, leading to a 95 percent cure rate. The treatment course includes taking one to a few pills a day for 12 to 24 weeks, and the medicines have few side effects. Hepatitis C is the only chronic viral infection that you can routinely cure, thanks to these new medicines.
What Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a serious, viral infection. When an infant becomes ill with hepatitis B, there is a 90% chance he will become chronic. Young children go on to develop chronic hepatitis B about 50% of the time. When the patient acquires the virus in adulthood, 90% – 95% get over the virus fully in the acute stage . If you believe you were exposed, contact a physician immediately, as there are preventative treatments that cut down the risk of getting the virus.
You May Like: How Long Is The Hepatitis B Vaccine Good For
What Are The Common Types Of Viral Hepatitis
Although the most common types of viral hepatitis are HAV, HBV, and HCV, some clinicians had previously considered the acute and chronic phases of hepatic infections as “types” of viral hepatitis. HAV was considered to be acute viral hepatitis because the HAV infections seldom caused permanent liver damage that led to hepatic failure. HBV and HCV produced chronic viral hepatitis. However, these terms are outdated and not currently used as frequently because all of the viruses that cause hepatitis may have acute phase symptoms . Prevention techniques and vaccinations have markedly reduced the current incidence of common viral hepatitis infections however, there remains a population of about 1 to 2 million people in the U.S. with chronic HBV, and about 3.5 million with chronic HCV according to the CDC. Statistics are incomplete for determining how many new infections occur each year the CDC documented infections but then goes on to estimate the actual numbers by further estimating the number of unreported infections .
Types D, E, and G Hepatitis
Individuals who already have chronic HBV infection can acquire HDV infection at the same time as they acquire the HBV infection, or at a later time. Those with chronic hepatitis due to HBV and HDV develop cirrhosis rapidly. Moreover, the combination of HDV and HBV virus infection is very difficult to treat.
- HIV patients
- People with hemophilia who receive blood clotting factors
Is There A Possibility Of Coinfection
Both hepatitis B and C can be present at the same time. Hepatitis C may become more dominant, reducing hepatitis B levels in the bloodstream to low or undetectable levels.
Prior to starting hepatitis C treatment, people should have their blood tested for hepatitis B using the three-part blood test . According to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases treatment guidelines, people who are currently infected with hepatitis B or who have recovered from a previous infection should be managed carefully to avoid dangerous elevations in liver enzymes that can lead to liver failure.
You May Like: What Is Hepatitis C Screening Test
Hepatitis C Vs Hepatitis B: Whats The Difference
The types of hepatitis
Each of the hepatitis viruses is different, but they all share a target: the liver. The liver performs many vital functions in your body. Many of the livers functions involve cleansing blood, fighting infection, and storing energy. Hepatitis threatens the livers ability to function.
The main hepatitis viruses fall into five different types: A, B, C, D, and E. The most common types in the United States are A, B, and C. Hepatitis B and C tend to be more dangerous than hepatitis A. Also, both B and C can be become chronic conditions.
Introducing A Blood Borne Virus Testing Facility Within A Substance Misuse Harm Reduction Serviceyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
The Operational Procedures provide specific aims and objectives relating to Harm Reduction including 100% offer of BBV screening and access to HepatitisA& B combined vaccination … when a client moves between different stages of treatment.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Don’t Miss: Hepatitis C Blood Test Results
Symptoms Of Hepatitis B
Symptoms of hepatitis B are the same as those of hepatitis A: Jaundice, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, joint pain, nausea and vomiting, and weakness and fatigue are common. Some of the more common ways to acquire hepatitis B are through sex with an infected person where sexual body fluids can enter your body, use of IV drugs and/or sharing needles, being born to a hepatitis B positive mother, being a man who has sex with men, traveling to an area such as Africa, Asia or Eastern Europe, and being stuck with a needle in a healthcare setting. Hepatitis B is considered a sexually transmitted infection.
Chronic hepatitis B may lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and/or liver failure. Hepatitis B may also lead to kidney disease, and anemia. There are treatments for hepatitis B, but there is no cure, and a liver transplant may be required for the patient to live. There is a preventative vaccine for hepatitis B.
How Is Viral Hepatitis Prevented
Prevention of hepatitis involves measures to avoid exposure to the viruses, using immunoglobulin in the event of exposure, and vaccines. Administration of immunoglobulin is called passive protection because antibodies from patients who have had viral hepatitis are given to the patient. Vaccination is called active protection because killed viruses or non-infectious components of viruses are given to stimulate the body to produce its own antibodies.
Avoidance of exposure to viruses
Prevention of viral hepatitis, like any other illness, is preferable to reliance upon treatment. Taking precautions to prevent exposure to another individual’s blood , semen , and other bodily secretions and waste will help prevent the spread of all of these viruses.
Use of immunoglobulins
Immune serum globulin is human serum that contains antibodies to hepatitis A. ISG can be administered to prevent infection in individuals who have been exposed to hepatitis A. ISG works immediately upon administration, and the duration of protection is several months. ISG usually is given to travelers to regions of the world where there are high rates of hepatitis A infection and to close or household contacts of patients with hepatitis A infection. ISG is safe with few side effects.
Individuals at increased risk of acquiring hepatitis A are:
Some local health authorities or private companies may require hepatitis A vaccination for food handlers.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for:
Don’t Miss: How Is Hepatitis A Spread