Tuesday, May 17, 2022

How Can I Get Hepatitis

How Do You Get Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis B? | How is Hepatitis B Transmitted?

Just like hepatitis B, you can get this type by sharing needles or having contact with infected blood. You can also catch it by having sex with somebody who’s infected, but that’s less common.

If you had a blood transfusion before new screening rules were put in place in 1992, you are at risk for hepatitis C. If not, the blood used in transfusions today is safe. It gets checked beforehand to make sure it’s free of the virus that causes hepatitis B and C.

It’s rare, but if you’re pregnant and have the disease, it’s possible to pass it to your newborn.

There are some myths out there about how you get hepatitis C, so let’s set the record straight. It’s not spread by food and water . And you canât spread it by doing any of these things:

  • Joint pain

See your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms.

Sometimes, people have no symptoms. To be sure you have hepatitis, youâll need to get tested.

What Causes Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus . The virus is spread when one person ingests tiny unseen pieces of fecal matter from an infected person. It takes about two to seven weeks after exposure to the virus for symptoms to start.

Water and ice can be contaminated with HAV. Raw shellfish from contaminated water can cause hepatitis A, as can other foods that are not cooked, such as fruits and vegetables.

What Is A Biopsy

A biopsy is a medical procedure. A tiny piece of liver is removed and examined to find out the extent of damage. It involves a large needle and local anesthetic, as well as some risk of bleeding. A pathologist looks at the piece of liver under microscopes to determine how much damage has occurred in the liver. This is a very useful test and used to be done very commonly. However, the procedure is done much less frequently than in the past. For most patients with hepatitis B and C, liver biopsy is not required. Today, other tests can be used to try to estimate the fibrosis in the liver.

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What Does It Mean When Different Types Of Blood Tests For Hepatitis C Give Different Results

The first test your provider probably will perform is called an “antibody” test. A positive result means that you were exposed to the hepatitis C virus at some point in your life.

If the result is positive, your provider will perform a second test called hepatitis C virus RNA to see if the virus is still in your body. If the RNA test result is positive, then you have chronic hepatitis C infection.

So what does it mean if you have a positive result for the first test but a negative result for the second?

  • The most likely explanation is that you were infected with hepatitis C but your own immune system fought off the virus. This means you do not have chronic hepatitis C infection, and are not at risk of any medical problems related to hepatitis C.
  • The second possible explanation is that you were infected with hepatitis C but the amount of virus in your body is too small to be detected by the standard test. If someone had virus that was present but such a low amount that the test wasn’t able to detect it, then there could be a “false negative HCV RNA” test. But the newest techniques used by labs for HCV RNA are extremely sensitive and can detect as few as 12 copies of the virus . So, this scenario is possible where you could have a false negative test, but it is unlikely.
  • What Causes Alcoholic Hepatitis

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    When alcohol gets processed in the liver, it produces highly toxic chemicals. These chemicals can injure the liver cells. This injury then leads to inflammation, and alcoholic hepatitis.

    Although heavy alcohol use leads to alcoholic hepatitis, doctors arent entirely sure why the condition develops. Alcoholic hepatitis develops in a minority of people who heavily use alcohol no more than 35 percent according to the American Liver Foundation. It can also develop in people who moderately use alcohol.

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    Who Is At Risk For Infection

    Anyone who is not immune to hepatitis A can get hepatitis A infection. Food-borne outbreaks occur sporadically throughout the USA. Certain groups of people do have a higher risk of developing HAV infection and should be vaccinated:

    • Persons experiencing homelessness
    • People who eat raw or under-cooked shellfish

    What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis B

    Prevention is recommended by receiving a vaccine for HBV.

    Receiving an injection of the hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of coming in contact with the virus may help prevent the development of the disease.

    At present, there is no specific treatment for patients with acute hepatitis B. Acute infection is usually short and will often resolve on its own. Your health care provider may recommend rest, and adequate nutrition and fluids to help your body fight the infection. Hospitalization may be required for patients who suffer from severe vomiting and who are unable to maintain adequate nutritional levels. It may also be required to prevent the development of complications.

    While chronic infection cannot be cured, there are two standard treatments in Canada that may control the virus and prevent further damage to the liver.

    • Antiviral medications can fight the virus and slow damage to the liver.
    • Interferon which may be given for short periods and if effective, results in suppression of the virus.

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    Chronic Hepatitis B Infection

    If you develop chronic hepatitis B, youll be given treatment to reduce the risk of permanent liver damage and liver cancer. Treatment does not cure chronic hepatitis B and most people who start treatment need to continue for life.

    Without treatment, chronic hepatitis B can cause scarring of the liver , which can cause the liver to stop working properly.

    A small number of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer, and these complications can lead to death. Other than a liver transplant, there is no cure for cirrhosis. However, treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms.

    Undercooked And Raw Shellfish

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    Shellfish are animals that filter the water from their surroundings. Because of this, they can become contaminated with hepatitis A virus if they are grown in polluted waters. To be safe, cook shellfish thoroughly before eating it. Undercooked shellfish like oysters, mussels, and clams may harbor and transmit hepatitis A. You may prefer the taste of raw oysters, but cooked shellfish really is safer. Protect your health and skip the raw oyster bar.

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    Will The Baby Be Infected If The Mother Or Father Has Hepatitis C

    The baby’s risk of becoming infected with hepatitis C in the womb varies, depending on whether the parent with hepatitis C is the father or the mother.

    If the mother is infected, whether or not the father is infected, there is a 5% chance that the baby will be born with hepatitis C. The risk is the same regardless of whether the birth occurs by vaginal delivery or by cesarean section. The risk is higher if the mother is also living with HIV.

    If the father has hepatitis C but the mother does not, the baby cannot become infected because a father cannot pass the virus directly to a baby. If the father first passes the virus to the mother through sex, then the baby possibly could be infected by the mother. However, the chance of the virus being transmitted both from father to mother and then from mother to baby is almost zero.

    All children born to HCV-infected women should be tested for HCV infection. Testing is recommended using an antibody-based test at or after 18 months of age. Approximately 25-50 % infants with hepatitis C will clear the infection without any medical help by age 4. For those who become chronically infected, most have no symptoms .

    How Common Is It

    In 2006, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported the incidence of HBV as 2.0 cases for every 100,000 or about 650 cases reported annually in Canada. In the year 2013, the incident rate was 0.5 per 100,000 . Incidence of the disease varies from region to region but has been declining due to increasing use of the vaccine and universal immunization programs.

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    How To Prevent Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus . It can be serious and theres no cure, but the good news is its easy to prevent. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex. If you have oral, anal, and vaginal sex, use condoms and dental dams to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and other STDs.

    How Can I Make A Difference For People With Hepatitis C

    Spotlight: What is Help

    Anyone can help raise awareness about this widespread disease. Citizens can write letters to their state representatives or local newspapers and get involved in volunteer efforts with liver disease or Veteran-affiliated organizations . Speaking at support groups and sharing your experience is also a good way to help others with HCV.

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    What If You Test Positive

    If a test says you have viral hepatitis, you can take steps to protect the ones you love. For hepatitis A, wash hands frequently. For hepatitis B and C, avoid sharing nail clippers, razors, or toothbrushes. Hepatitis B, and sometimes hepatitis C, can be passed through sexual contact. Make sure everyone in your household gets the hepatitis B vaccine. An important step is to see a specialist to discuss treatment options.

    Treatment Options For Alcoholic Hepatitis

    Alcoholic hepatitis is a condition thats caused and aggravated by alcohol use. You need to stop drinking if you receive an alcoholic hepatitis diagnosis.

    You may be able to reverse the damage to your liver by avoiding alcohol in the early stages of the disease. Once more significant damage has occurred, the changes within the liver become permanent. Significant damage can lead to conditions such as cirrhosis, blood clotting problems, and high levels of bilirubin.

    Even if the damage is too severe to reverse, you should still quit drinking to prevent further harm to your liver. In people with permanent liver damage due to alcohol, theres a 30 percent increase in survival rate among those who stop drinking compared to those who continue to drink.

    Theres always a benefit to quitting drinking. If you have an alcohol addiction and need help to stop drinking, talk to your doctor about the different treatment options for addiction. There are many excellent hospitals and clinic facilities that specialize in alcohol detoxification and recovery.

    Treatment for alcoholic hepatitis may include medications that reduce inflammation in your liver and improve liver function.

    Your doctor may also prescribe vitamin and nutrient supplements if youre malnourished. These nutrients may need to be provided through a feeding tube if youre having trouble eating. Feeding tubes pass nutrient-rich liquids directly into to your digestive system through a variety of methods.

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    How Common Is Hepatitis A

    In the United States, hepatitis A has become relatively uncommon. After the hepatitis A vaccine became available in 1995, the rate of hepatitis A infections declined by 95 percent in the United States. The number of reported cases of hepatitis A fell to 1,239 in 2014, the lowest yearly number of cases reported since the disease could be tracked.1 However, the number of reported cases increased to 3,366 in 2017, almost 3 times higher, mostly due to outbreaks among people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness.1 Early reports suggest that the numbers of cases and outbreaks of hepatitis A increased further during 2018 and continue at these higher rates in 2019.2

    Hepatitis A is more common in developing countries where sanitation is poor and access to clean water is limited. Hepatitis A is more common in parts of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe than it is in the United States.

    How Can You Prevent Hepatitis A

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    There is a vaccine, made from an inactivateddeadvirus to prevent hepatitis A. If you are not sure you have had the vaccine, you can ask your doctor to test you to see if you have been vaccinated.

    You can also practice good hand washing hygiene. Make sure you use soap and warm water to wash your hands for at least 15 to 30 seconds after you use the toilet, change diapers, and before and after touching food.

    If you are traveling in another country, especially a developing country, drink only bottled water and use only bottled water to brush your teeth, wash your produce, and freeze for ice cubes.

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    Can Hepatitis A Be Treated

    There is no drug treatment for hepatitis A. The disease will eventually run its course and an infected person will recover completely although recovery time varies for each person. Recovery from this virus infection means that you are protected for life from getting it again.

    The following are some ways of dealing with the symptoms:

    • You will feel tired and may have very little energy. You may need to take time off from daily activities, work or school to recover.
    • Nausea and vomiting may cause you to lose your appetite. Try to eat small snacks and soft foods such as soup or toast.
    • You may look yellow. Once you become yellow, you are no longer infectious. There is no need to isolate yourself. Let people around you know it is OK to be near you.
    • Try not to drink alcohol. Your liver may not be able to process alcohol and alcohol may make your symptoms worse.
    • Talk to your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications or complementary medicine. None of the alternative therapies have proved helpful in treating hepatitis A.

    Why Do All Baby Boomers Need To Be Tested For Viral Hepatitis

    The CDC recommends that all Americans born between 1945 and 1965 get a one-time test for hepatitis C. This is because three in four adults with hepatitis C are baby boomers, and most baby boomers do not know they have it.

    Its likely that many baby boomers with hepatitis C were infected many years ago before the blood supply was tested for hepatitis C.

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    How Does A Person Get Hepatitis

    A person can get hepatitis A through the following sources:

    • Food or water contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected person
    • Sexual contact

    A person can get hepatitis B in many ways, which include:

    • Having sexual contact with an infected person
    • Sharing needles
    • Being in direct contact with an infected persons blood
    • Transferred from mother to the fetus
    • Getting an infected needle prick
    • Being in contact with an infected persons body fluid

    A person can get hepatitis C through:

    • Sharing infected needles
    • Being in direct contact with an infected persons blood
    • Getting an infected needle prick
    • Having sexual contact with an infected person

    Hepatitis D can be spread through:

    • Transferred from mother to the fetus
    • Being in contact with the infected fluid or blood
    • A person can get hepatitis D only if they are infected previously with hepatitis B.

    Hepatitis E mainly infects people who eat or drink food or water contaminated with the virus. Under-cooked foods can also spread hepatitis E. It is more dangerous in pregnant women.

    How It’s Passed On

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    The hepatitis C virus is found in blood and is passed on when infected blood gets into another persons bloodstream. Its seen as unlikely that it can be passed on in semen.

    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.

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    Hepatitis C: How Does It Spread

    It spreads through infected blood. In the U.S., sharing needles or other items used to inject drugs is the most common cause of infection. Getting a tattoo or body piercing with an infected needle is another means of exposure. A mother may pass the virus to their child at birth. In rare cases, unprotected sex spreads hepatitis C, but the risk appears small. Having multiple sex partners, HIV, or rough sex seems to raise risk for spreading hepatitis C.

    Hepatitis B Symptoms & Treatment

    FAST FACTS

    • Hepatitis B is a virus found in infected blood, semen and vaginal fluids.
    • Its a sexually transmitted infection that can be passed on through unprotected sex. You can also get it from contaminated needles and syringes. Its also commonly passed on from a mother to her baby during birth.
    • There is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B, which is routinely offered to infants as well as at-risk groups.
    • You can prevent hepatitis B by practising safer sex, never sharing needles and syringes, and avoiding unlicensed tattoo parlours and acupuncturists.
    • Most people dont need treatment for acute hepatitis B. If the infection becomes chronic, there is no cure, but it can be managed with treatment.

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