Thursday, October 6, 2022

How You Know If You Have Hepatitis

Newly Diagnosed With Hepatitis B How Did I Get This Learning The Hbv Transmission Basics

Free screening can help you know whether you have Hep C

If you have just been diagnosed with hepatitis B virus then you need to understand how HBV is transmitted. This is important whether you have an acute or chronic infection. You must understand you are infectious and can transmit the virus to others.

How is hepatitis B transmitted? Hepatitis B is transmitted through direct contact with infected blood. This can happen through direct blood-to-blood contact, unprotected sex, unsterile needles, unsterile medical or dental equipment, and from a HBV infected mother to her baby at birth. For kids, pediatric experts report that the fluid that oozes from cuts and open sores is also highly infectious, so keep those open cuts covered. HBV can also be transmitted inadvertently by the sharing of personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers, body jewelry and other personal items that have small amounts of blood on them.

If you do, or have participated in high-risk activities at some point in your life, you are also at greater risk. This is not a time to judge or be judged.

What Does The Future Look Like After Hepatitis C Treatment

Because DAAs are so effective and can completely cure the disease, most of those with hep C go on to live normal, healthy lives. But there is a caveat in all this: DAAs are not vaccines and cant prevent you from getting the infection again .

If you engage in the same behaviors that led to the infection , youll be at risk for contracting the disease again. Be safe.

What Are Treatment Options For Hepatitis C

While no one wants to get diagnosed with a blood infection, hep C is 98% curable when you take the recommended course of treatment. Unlike the weekly interferon injections of the past, which delivered side effects as harsh as chemotherapy, treatment has come a long way in the past few years.

Thanks to a class of meds called direct-acting antivirals , most people with hep C can be completely cured of the disease in just a matter of weeks . DAAs are taken in daily tablet form and while some patients experience mild side effects, they can usually be managed with OTC meds.

DAAs target and eliminate proteins found in the hep C virus the two most common medications prescribed are Mavyret and Epclusa , both of which include a cocktail of different types of antiviral drugs in one pill.

In rare cases , DAAs dont work to clear the virus. When this happens, doctors will most often prescribe a more aggressive antiviral medication such as Vosevi. Because Vosevi is a potent combination of three antiviral drugs , it has a slightly higher burden of side effects, including:

  • Headache

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

If youre put on DAAs, your doctor might also prescribe a longer course of treatment to clear the infection and will know for sure if the virus is gone by measuring how much viral genetic material is in your blood.

Read Also: How To Treat Hepatitis A And B

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.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

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If you develop any of the symptoms of chronic hepatitis, liver damage, or liver cancer, see your healthcare provider. It takes only a blood test to detect the presence of a hepatitis virus in your body .

A blood test also can determine which hepatitis virus you’re infected with, which will determine what your treatment should be .

Recommended Reading: How Can Hepatitis B Be Transmitted

If I Have Hepatitis How Can I Avoid Giving It To Someone Else

For hepatitis A, one of the best things you can do is wash your hands a lot. That will keep the virus out of food and drinks.

If you have hepatitis B and C, you need to find ways to keep others from making contact with your blood. Follow these tips:

  • Cover your cuts or blisters.
  • Carefully throw away used bandages, tissues, tampons, and sanitary napkins.
  • Don’t share your razor, nail clippers, or toothbrush.
  • If your blood gets on objects, clean them with household bleach and water.
  • Don’t breastfeed if your nipples are cracked or bleeding.
  • Don’t donate blood, organs, or sperm.
  • If you inject drugs, don’t share needles or other equipment.

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What Is Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage. Inflammation is swelling that occurs when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can damage organs.

Viruses invade normal cells in your body. Many viruses cause infections that can spread from person to person. The hepatitis B virus spreads through contact with an infected persons blood, semen, or other body fluids.

You can take steps to protect yourself from hepatitis B, including getting the hepatitis B vaccine. If you have hepatitis B, you can take steps to prevent spreading hepatitis B to others.

The hepatitis B virus can cause an acute or chronic infection.

Also Check: Which Hepatitis Can Be Cured

Wait Is Hepatitis An Std Or Sti

Good question! Ultimately, it depends.

Autoimmune hepatitis and alcohol hepatitis cannot be transmitted through sexual activity. The other versions of viral hepatitis can be transmitted via sexual contact however, the risk level of transmission varies between the strains.

Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is found in the poop and blood of an infected person. It is most commonly transmitted through contaminated food and water sources. For instance, if a chef with the virus has blood or feces on their hands and prepares your food, or if an unwashed/unpeeled fruit that was touched by a person with the virus makes its way into your mouth However, the virus can also be spread through needle sharing or dirty injectable drugs equipment. When it comes to sexual transmission of Hepatitis A, it can be shared through rimming or, any other sexual activity that results in fecal particles making their way into their mouth, whether intentionally or unintentionally .

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B can be spread through most bodily fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretion, anal secretion, and breast milk. As such, it can be transmitted during breastfeeding, as well as through drug-injection equipment. “It can also be transmitted through most kinds of sexual contact,” says Dr. Pearlman. Actually, this is the strain of the virus most commonly dubbed an STI, she says.

Hepatitis B In The United States

How do you get hepatitis A?

In the United States, about 862,000 people have chronic hepatitis B.6 Asian Americans and African Americans have higher rates of chronic hepatitis B than other U.S. racial and ethnic groups.10 Researchers estimate that about half of the people living with chronic hepatitis B in the United States are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.11 Chronic hepatitis B is also more common among people born in other countries than among those born in the United States.7

The hepatitis B vaccine has been available since the 1980s and, in 1991, doctors began recommending that children in the United States receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The annual rate of acute hepatitis B infections went down 88.5 percent between 1982 and 2015.12 In 2017, the annual number of hepatitis B infections rose in some states.13 Experts think the rise was related to increases in injection drug use. Injection drug use increases the risk of hepatitis B infection.

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How Do You Get Hepatitis C

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.

How Long Does The Hepatitis A Vaccine Last

We dont know exactly how long the protection of the vaccine lasts, but studies have indicated that it lasts at least 20 years in some people and it could last as long as 40 years or more. Having only one dose of the recommended two-dose vaccine has shown to provide protection for at least 10 years.

Read Also: How Do You Get Rid Of Hepatitis B

How Do You Know If You Have A Hepatitis A Infection

Hepatitis A is a very contagious virus that can cause serious illness and death. In recent years, a huge hepatitis A outbreak in the United States has been ongoing since 2016. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than 30,000 people have. even sickened, almost 19,000 patients have been hospitalized, and more than 300 people have died. How do you know if you have a hepatitis A infection?

While most of these illnesses have occurred in certain populations, such as the homeless and drug users, this virus can infect people through contaminated food and drink. A hepatitis A outbreak in 2019, which has not yet been declared over, was linked to Fresh Thyme blackberries. And a hepatitis A outbreak at the Mendham Golf and Tennis Club in Mendham Township, New Jersey sickened 23 people.

One of the issues with this illness is that an infected person is contagious for about two weeks before symptoms appear. Someone working with food and drink in a restaurant can potentially sicken many people before they even know they are ill. So how do you know if you have a hepatitis A infection?

Hepatitis A Symptoms

These symptoms can appear within 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus. And people can be sick for a few weeks up to several months.

Complications

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When Will Symptoms Appear After You Have Been Exposed To Hav

Symptoms and warning signs of Hepatitis C

It generally takes about 4 weeks for symptoms to appear, but they can start at 2 weeks or they can start up to 8 weeks after you have been exposed. You probably wont get every symptom immediately, but they tend to emerge over days.

Also, you can have no symptoms and have the virus and be contagious. Children especially may be free of symptoms despite being infected.

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What Are Less Common Signs And Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

When hep C becomes a chronic infection, meaning its been in the body, untreated for years, it can cause signs of liver disease .

This can lead to cirrhosis, making it difficult for the liver to function properly, liver cancer or even liver failure. The liver performs many crucial functions, including: producing protein breaking down nutrients from food storing vitamins, minerals and sugar to prevent nutrient shortages producing bile and removing bacteria from the blood to prevent infection. This is why the damage wrought by Hep C can be so serious.

Watch out for these signs your liver isnt working as it should:

If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor, pronto, so they can work to determine the cause of the problem, including a possible hep C infection.

How Do Doctors Treat Hepatitis B

Doctors typically dont treat hepatitis B unless it becomes chronic. Doctors may treat chronic hepatitis B with antiviral medicines that attack the virus.

Not everyone with chronic hepatitis B needs treatment. If blood tests show that hepatitis B could be damaging a persons liver, a doctor may prescribe antiviral medicines to lower the chances of liver damage and complications.

Medicines that you take by mouth include

A medicine that doctors can give as a shot is peginterferon alfa-2a .

The length of treatment varies. Hepatitis B medicines may cause side effects. Talk with your doctor about the side effects of treatment. Tell your doctor before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

For safety reasons, you also should talk with your doctor before using dietary supplements, such as vitamins, or any complementary or alternative medicines or medical practices.

Recommended Reading: Latest Treatment Of Hepatitis C

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Hepatitis B

About 1 in 20 people who get hepatitis B as adults become carriers, which means they have a chronic hepatitis B infection. Carriers are more likely to pass hepatitis B to other people. Most carriers are contagious meaning they can spread hepatitis B for the rest of their lives.

Hepatitis B infections that last a long time may lead to serious liver diseases like cirrhosis and liver cancer. About 1 in 5 people with chronic hepatitis B die from it. There are medicines that can help treat chronic hepatitis B infections.

Most babies who get hepatitis B develop chronic infection, unless they get treated right away. But treatments almost always work if your baby gets them quickly. Thats why its important for pregnant people to get tested for hepatitis B.

What Is Hepatitis A

What to know about Hepatitis C

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage. Inflammation is swelling that occurs when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can damage organs.

Viruses invade normal cells in your body. Many viruses cause infections that can be spread from person to person. The hepatitis A virus typically spreads through contact with food or water that has been contaminated by an infected persons stool.

Hepatitis A is an acute or short-term infection, which means people usually get better without treatment after a few weeks. In rare cases, hepatitis A can be severe and lead to liver failure and the need for an emergency liver transplant to survive. Hepatitis A does not lead to long-term complications, such as cirrhosis, because the infection only lasts a short time.

You can take steps to protect yourself from hepatitis A, including getting the hepatitis A vaccine. If you have hepatitis A, you can take steps to prevent spreading hepatitis A to others.

Also Check: How Do You Test For Hepatitis C

Get Curious About Your Relationship With Alcohol

This final tip is specifically for alcohol hepatitis. If you notice that you’ve been drinking more than usual, take a minute to consider signs your sasual drinking could be a problem.

If you decide you’d like to cut back on the booze, the U.K. National Health Service recommends opting for lower strength drinks when you do drink, setting a drinking budget or drink limits, and trying to take several drink-free days each week.

If you decide you’d like to quite altogether, you might attend an in-person or online Alcohol Anonymous meeting, or seek out help from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hotline at 1-800-662-HELP .

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People reporting this rash say that it often comes on suddenly.

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It can show up in the form of raised bumps and is very itchy – it can often start with intense itchy palms or soles.

Infections, such as a virus like Covid can cause hives in some people, and are more common in children.

It’s key to know though that a variety of infections, including the common cold, can prompt hives.

If you have any doubt about your symptoms then it’s best to take a coronavirus test which will help you establish whether or not you need to isolate.

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Who Is More Likely To Get Hepatitis A

People more likely to get hepatitis A are those who

  • travel to developing countries
  • have sex with an infected person
  • are men who have sex with men
  • use illegal drugs, including drugs that are not injected
  • experience unstable housing or homelessness
  • live with or care for someone who has hepatitis A
  • live with or care for a child recently adopted from a country where hepatitis A is common

What Are Clinical Trials For Hepatitis B

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Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.

Researchers are studying many aspects of hepatitis B, such as

  • progression of hepatitis B and long-term outcomes
  • new treatments for hepatitis B
  • prevention of reactivated or worsening hepatitis B in people receiving cancer treatment

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