General Signs And Symptoms Of Hepatitis C
As mentioned, many cases of hepatitis C infection often go unnoticed because they donât always present symptoms. If you do present symptoms, they manifest about four to 12 weeks after initial exposure to the virus. Symptoms can also vary between acute and chronic forms of the infection. Acute hepatitis C symptoms may include:
- Pain in your abdomen
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Chronic hepatitis C infections can remain dormant for years, and it usually isnât apparent until the virus has caused significant damage to the liver.
How Is Hepatitis C Transmitted Or Spread
Hepatitis C is transmitted or spread when the blood from a Hepatitis C-infected person enters the bloodstream of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with HCV by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when screening donated blood and organs for Hepatitis C was not standard in the United States, the disease was commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants.
Hepatitis C may be spread if there is a breakdown in the skin or lining of the mouth. Therefore, sharing of toothbrushes, razor blades and nail clippers is not recommended.
Is Hepatitis C contagious?
Hepatitis C transmission happens only through exposure to an infected persons blood. It is not contagious like the common cold. You cannot get, or give, Hepatitis C by:
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What Are The Potential Complications Of Hepatitis B
Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious complications. Ongoing inflammation in the liver can causecirrhosis, which is scarring in the liver. This condition prevents the liver from functioning normally.
If the damage continues, end stage liver disease and liver failure can occur. A liver transplant is the only effective treatment for liver failure.
Another possible complication of chronic hepatitis B is that it puts you at risk of developing hepatitis D. Hepatitis D can only develop in someone with hepatitis B, and it can cause any symptoms and liver disease to get worse.
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How Do You Know If You Have Hepatitis B
The only way to know if you have hepatitis B is bya medical exam. There are several blood tests yourhealth care provider can use to diagnose hepatitis B.These tests can tell you:
- If it is an acute or a chronic infection
- If you have recovered from infection
- If you are immune to hepatitis B
- If you could benefit from vaccination
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Treatment Of Acute Hepatitis B
For fulminant hepatitis B, antiviral drugs and liver transplantation
No treatments attenuate acute viral hepatitis, including hepatitis B. Alcohol should be avoided because it can increase liver damage. Restrictions on diet or activity, including commonly prescribed bed rest, have no scientific basis.
Viral hepatitis should be reported to the local or state health department.
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What Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is an infection of your liver. ItÃ¢s caused by a virus. There is a vaccine that protects against it. For some people, hepatitis B is mild and lasts a short time. These Ã¢acuteÃ¢ cases donÃ¢t always need treatment. But it can become chronic. If that happens, it can cause scarring of the organ, liver failure, and cancer, and it even can be life-threatening.
ItÃ¢s spread when people come in contact with the blood, open sores, or body fluids of someone who has the hepatitis B virus.
Itâs serious, but if you get the disease as an adult, it shouldnÃ¢t last a long time. Your body fights it off within a few months, and youÃ¢re immune for the rest of your life. That means you canât get it again. But if you get it at birth, itÃ¢ unlikely to go away.
Can Viral Hepatitis Be Prevented
Hepatitis A and B can be prevented through vaccinations. Experts recommend that all gay and bisexual men be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B. The Hepatitis A and B vaccines can be given separately or as a combination vaccine. The vaccines are safe, effective, and require 2-3 shots within a six month period depending on the type of vaccine. A person should complete all shots in the series for long-term protection. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.
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Hepatitis B Symptoms And Treatment
Hepatitis B is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver. It is spread through blood and bodily fluids. It is most commonly passed on via unprotected sex , from a mother to her child during birth, or through contaminated needles.
In adults, it often causes no obvious symptoms and can pass in a few months without treatment. Children are more likely to develop a long-lasting infection. Without appropriate treatment and care, children and adults with a chronic infection can become seriously ill and be at risk of liver damage or death.
Vaccines for hepatitis B are offered to infants and are available for people at high risk of the condition.
Prevent Hepatitis B Infections In Newborns
If you are pregnant and have hepatitis B, talk with your doctor about lowering the risk that the infection will spread to your baby. Your doctor will check your virus levels during pregnancy. If virus levels are high, your doctor may recommend treatment during pregnancy to lower virus levels and reduce the chance that hepatitis B will spread to your baby. Your doctor may refer you to a liver specialist to find out if you need hepatitis B treatment and to check for liver damage.
When it is time to give birth, tell the doctor and staff who deliver your baby that you have hepatitis B. A health care professional should give your baby the hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG right after birth. The vaccine and HBIG will greatly reduce the chance of your baby getting the infection.
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What Is Hepatitis B Virus
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is a major global health problem and the most serious type of viral hepatitis. It can cause chronic liver disease and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Worldwide, an estimated two billion people have been infected with the HBV and about 250 million have chronic liver infections.A vaccine to prevent catching HBV has been available since 1982. Hepatitis B vaccine is 95% effective in preventing HBV infection and its chronic consequences, and is the first vaccine against a major human cancer.
Hepatitis B Treatment Is There A Cure
Normally acute Hepatitis B does not require special treatment and the majority of adults clear the virus spontaneously. Early treatment may be required only in less than 1% of infected people who are immunocompromised or whose infection takes an aggressive course.
Its very important to maintain comfort, avoid alcohol, keep to a balanced diet, and replace body fluids lost from diarrhea and vomiting. On the other hand, chronic hepatitis B can be treated with medicines, including antiviral agents. Treatment can help to reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Chronic Hepatitis B is usually a mild disease among children. Most of them can live full and healthy lives without visible symptoms. However, in some children the virus can cause significant liver damage. They will require medical treatment and intervention. All children suffering from chronic hepatitis B infection should be seen by a liver specialist on a regular basis. During the visits its necessary to take blood tests, physical exams and sometimes ultrasounds of the liver.
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Take Charge Of Your Health
Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection that is manageable when caught in the first six months. It can be contracted through sexual activities, infected blood or sharing needles. Approximately 70% of cases are symptomless, so get tested if you may have been exposed.
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Who Is Likely To Be Affected By Hepatitis A
Certain people are more at risk than others for hepatitis A. These include:
- People who use recreational drugs, both injected and non-injected types.
- Men who have sex with men.
- People who have close contact with someone who already is infected.
- People who have close contact with someone adopted from a country where hepatitis A is common, or people who travel to countries where hepatitis A is common.
- People who work with non-human primates.
- People who have clotting factor issues, including hemophilia.
- People who work in child care, or children who are in childcare.
Hepatitis A can last from a few weeks to several months.
Hepatitis B can range from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to a serious, life-long condition. More than 90% of unimmunized infants who get infected develop a chronic infection, but 6%10% of older children and adults who get infected develop chronic hepatitis B.
Hepatitis C can range from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to a serious, life-long infection. Most people who get infected with the hepatitis C virus develop chronic hepatitis C.
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What Are The Complications Of Hepatitis B
The course of hepatitis B infection depends mostly on the age at which a person is infected.
People infected as infants are likely to develop long term infection and can get complications such as scarring of the liver or liver cancer. Infants have a 9 in 10 chance and children have a 3 in 10 chance of developing a chronic, lifelong infection.
People infected as teenagers or adults are likely to become unwell with symptoms , but have a smaller chance of developing a chronic infection. Others develop a silent infection, without any symptoms.
Most people infected as adults clear the virus from the body within 6 months. They develop immunity to future hepatitis B infections and do not develop long-term liver damage.
However, approximately 1 in 20 adults cannot clear the virus and develop chronic hepatitis B. They are at risk of developing complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer in the longer term.
How Do I Test For Hepatitis C
A simple blood test will show whether you have the virus. You may also be given an extra test to see if your liver is damaged.
If youÃ¢ve got hepatitis C you should be tested for other STIs. Its important that you tell your recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested and treated. Many people who have hepatitis C do not notice anything wrong, and by telling them you can help to stop the virus being passed on. It can also stop you from getting the infection again.
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Symptoms Of Hepatitis B
The majority of people experience no significant symptoms during the acute phase of infection. However, some people develop a rapid onset of the disease with symptoms that last a few weeks, including extreme fatigue, yellowing of eyes and skin, dark urine, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
A small amount of people with acute hepatitis experience liver failure which can result in death. Sometimes the Hepatitis B virus can end up in a chronic infection that can develop such consequences as liver cancer or cirrhosis. However, more than 90% of adults recover naturally within the first year without any special treatment. But its important to remember that an infected person can transmit HBV to other people even if he or she has no symptoms.
When To See A Doctor
Whats galling about hepatitis C is that it all-too-often goes undetected for a long time some carry it for 10-20 years without any signs. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above-listed symptoms, of course, seek out treatment as soon as possible. The best bet, oftentimes, is screening for this disease to prevent its progression.
In the US, an estimated 3.5 million people have hepatitis Cthats over 2 million menand around half of these carry it without knowing it.
Testing for hepatitis C can be of paramount importance for certain groups of men. These include:
It never hurts to be safe with the number of people who carry this disease unknowingly, care should certainly be taken. That said, with regular testing and prompt treatment, hepatitis C can be taken on.
If you have hepatitis C or believe you do, the best bet is to be proactive. Seek out the care you need and talk to loved ones and family the sooner you get on the path towards treatment, the better off youll be. With the right support system, this disease can be taken on and eradicated.
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Hepatitis B Vs Hepatitis C
Hepatitis has many different types. HBV and the hepatitis C virus have both acute and chronic forms.
The main difference between HBV and HCV is how they spread from person to person. Although HCV is transmissible via sexual activity, this is rare. HCV usually spreads when blood that carries the virus comes into contact with blood that does not.
What Are The Risk Factors For Hepatitis C
In the United States, having been born between 1945 and 1965, and the use of illicit injection drugs are the two most common factors associated with hepatitis C. Other risk factors include
- having received blood transfusions prior to 1990,
- hemodialysis, and
- having greater than 10-lifetime sex partners.
Population studies show that hepatitis C is more common among males, non-Hispanic blacks, those with low income, and those with less than a high school education.
People who have HIV/AIDS have an increased risk for hepatitis C, because both these diseases are transmitted in the same ways, through blood and body fluids. If someone has both infections, that person is said to be co-infected with HIV and HCV.
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If You Are Not Treated
People with an acute form of Hepatitis B do not need special treatment. Moreover, not every person infected with chronic Hepatitis B is required to stay on medication. However, if you are not treated, a chronic infection can develop into such serious diseases as liver cancer or cirrhosis which can result in death.
There is limited access to treatment of Hepatitis B in many resource-constrained areas. Besides, many people are diagnosed only at the stage when they have advanced liver disease. Cancer progresses rapidly and the outcome is usually poor because treatment options are limited in low-income areas so most people with this type of cancer die within a few months of diagnosis. At the same time in high-income settings, chemotherapy and surgery can prolong life for a couple of years.
How Is Hepatitis B Transmitted
- Sexual contact. One can catch hepatitis B during unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person whose saliva, blood, vaginal or seminal secretions enter the body of the partner. Unvaccinated men who have sex with other men as well as heterosexual persons with sex workers or multiple sex partners are under particular risk of obtaining the disease.
- Sharing of needles. Hepatitis B virus is easily transmitted through syringes and needles contaminated with infected fluids. Infection can occur during dental and surgical procedures, tattooing, or through the shared use of razors and other contaminated objects.
- Accidental needle sticks. The infection is a major concern for health workers and other people who have contact with blood.
- Mother to child transmission. Pregnant women with HBV can pass it to their babies during labor. However, its important to remember that a newborn child can be vaccinated in order not to get infected in almost all possible cases.
Hepatitis B virus poses a serious threat to those who:
- Have unprotected sex with a partner who has the virus
- Come in contact with human blood at work
- Have been on a long lasting kidney dialysis
- Receive blood transfusions
- Get acupuncture or a tattoo with unclean needles
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How Its Passed On
Most people get the virus from sharing drug injecting equipment such as needles, syringes, water cups, tourniquets, spoons, filters and swabs. Sharing things like straws and banknotes that are used for snorting drugs might pass the virus on, as can sharing pipes.
In the UK piercing and tattooing should be safe but unsterilised equipment abroad can spread the virus.
An infected person risks infecting others if they share anything that might have blood on it like a toothbrush or razor. A pregnant woman with the virus can give it to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
Blood transfusions in the UK are safe as blood is screened.
You can also potentially get it from medical or dental treatment abroad in countries where hepatitis C is common and infection control is inadequate.
How Can You Avoid Hepatitis B
Getting the vaccine for hepatitis B is the best way toprevent hepatitis B. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe andeffective. It is usually given as 3-4 shots over a 6-monthperiod. You will not get hepatitis B from the vaccine.Ask your health care provider if you should get thisvaccine. It is recommended for:
- All infants, starting with the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth
- Everyone under the age of 19 who has not been vaccinated
- People whose sex partners have hepatitis B
- Sexually active people who are not in a long-term, faithful relationship
- People with a sexually transmitted disease
- People who share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
- People who have close household contact with someone infected with the hepatitis B virus
- Health care and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or body fluids on the job
- People with kidney disease. This includes all those on dialysis and those being considered for dialysis.
- Adults with diabetes
- Before oral sex
- Have sex with only one partner who does not have sex with others and does not have hepatitis B.
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