Finding Help For Hepatitis
If youve been diagnosed with viral hepatitis, there are a variety of resources that are available to help you. Lets explore a few of them below:
- Your doctor. Your doctor is a great first point of contact for questions and concerns. They can help you to better understand the type of hepatitis you have, as well as how it will be treated.
- American Liver Foundation . ALF is dedicated to ending liver disease through education, research, and advocacy. Their site has educational material about viral hepatitis, as well as ways to find doctors, support groups, and clinical trials in your area.
- Patient assistance programs. If you have hepatitis C, the cost of antiviral drugs can be high. The good news is that many drug manufacturers have patient assistance programs that can help you pay for these medications.
The chart below is an at-a-glance summary of some of the key differences between hepatitis A, B, and C.
Hepatitis And Liver Transplant
Any form of hepatitis can cause liver damage. If the liver becomes severely damaged, a liver transplant is necessary.
With more than 14,000 Americans on the waiting list for a liver transplant, patients often wait years for a transplant. Living donor transplantation allows a transplant to take place before the disease progresses further.
To reduce time on the transplant waiting list, you can choose to find a living donor. During a living-donor liver transplant, the surgeon takes a small part of the donors healthy liver and transplants it into the recipient. This process is possible because of the livers unique ability to regenerate, or regrow.
Common Symptoms Of Hav And Hcv
HAV has an incubation period of 15 to 50 days. Most of the time, the symptoms begin around the 28th day. HCV has an incubation period of 14 to 80 days, but the symptoms become noticeable in about 45 days on average.
The symptoms of hepatitis A and C are the same. They include:
- yellowing of the skin and eyes, or jaundice
HAV causes an acute infection. The symptoms last a few weeks to a few months, but HAV never becomes chronic.
HCV can also be an acute infection. When it lasts more than six months, doctors consider it to be a chronic condition that can cause serious complications. Over a span of 20 to 30 years, chronic HCV can cause scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis. This makes it hard for your liver to do its job. HCV increases your risk of developing liver cancer or liver failure. The symptoms are generally worse for people who also have HIV.
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What Are The Types Of Hepatitis
The three most common types of hepatitis in the United States are A, B, and C, but there are five types in total. All of these forms of hepatitis target the livers ability to function. Here are the differences between them:
- Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus, which spreads through the blood and stool of people infected by the virus.
- Hepatitis B is also caused by a virus spread through bodily fluids from an infected person however, it can be prevented through the use of vaccines.
- Hepatitis C is also a viral form of hepatitis. It can be short-term or long-term. As a chronic infection, it can cause life-threatening health issues like cirrhosis or liver cancer.
- Hepatitis D, also known as delta hepatitis, only occurs concurrently within people who also have the hepatitis B virus.
- Hepatitis E,though not particularly common in the United States, can spread from eating raw or undercooked pork, shellfish, or wild game.
What Is The Difference Between Hepatitis A B C D E
Table Of ContentWhat Is The Difference Between Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E?
Our liver is one of the most important organs of the body to perform major bodily processes. When such a crucial organ undergoes problems like inflammation, the entire system suffers. The term given for inflammation of the liver is known as hepatitis. It is one of the leading causes of death, more deadly than HIV.
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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.
How Are Hepatitis A B And C Different
There are approximately 400 million people in the world who have been diagnosed with one form of hepatitis.
About 1.4 million people die from this disease annually, and what is most surprising is the fact that experts estimate that as many as 95% of people who have hepatitis do not know about this disease.
Left untreated, hepatitis, in one form or another, can cause permanent liver damage. We must be aware that patients with hepatitis usually have mild or no symptoms at all.
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Who Should Be Tested
Testing for hepatitis A is not routinely recommended.
CDC recommends hepatitis B testing for:
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
- Household and sexual contacts of people with hepatitis B
- People requiring immunosuppressive therapy
- People with end-stage renal disease
- People with hepatitis C
- People with elevated ALT levels
- Infants born to HBV-infected mothers
CDC recommends hepatitis C testing for:
- All adults aged 18 years and older
- All pregnant women during each pregnancy
- About 24,900 new infections each year
- About 22,600 new infections in 2018
- Estimated 862,000 people living with hepatitis B
- About 50,300 new infections in 2018
- Estimated 2.4 million people living with hepatitis C
What’s The Difference Between Hepatitis A B And C
So, what are the main differences between hepatitis A, B, and C? Let’s summarise …
- Hepatitis A and B can be passed on via bodily fluids, whereas hepatitis C usually only spreads through blood-to-blood contact with an infected person.
- Unlike hepatitis A and B, it can take years for symptoms to present themselves in hepatitis C.
- A vaccine for hepatitis B is typically offered to babies to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.
- Hepatitis C has no immunity, and it is possible to get it again, whereas the risk of becoming infected again is lower with hepatitis A and B.
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Diagnosing Hepatitis A B & C
At NYU Langone, hepatologists, or liver specialists, and infectious disease specialists use blood tests to diagnose hepatitis A, B, and C. These viral infections cause inflammation of the liver.
If the results of a blood test confirm a diagnosis of viral hepatitis, your doctor may recommend imaging tests or a liver biopsy to determine the extent of liver disease.
What Is Hepatitis B
Once again, hepatitis B is an infection of the liver – it is caused by the hepatitis B virus . Similar to hepatitis A, hepatitis B is easy to pass on via sex. However, a distinct risk for hepatitis B is the risk of infection by sharing injecting equipment such as needles and syringes, which can carry infected blood.
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What Is The Difference Between Hepatitis A And Hepatitis B
Posted: Aug 28th, 2019 at 12:00AM- bye7 Health
You’ve undoubtedly heard hepatitis A and B mentioned many times before. Whether it was by watching the news, reading a headline, or overhearing a coworker say they had it in the past, it’s an unavoidable topic. But you may not really know what hepatitis A and B are, how dangerous they can be, who’s most at risk, or how you can protect yourself. Let’s look at the specifics so you have the facts to help keep yourself healthy year-round.
Is There A Cure For Hepatitis
According to Zappas, there is no technical cure for viral hepatitis, and antibodies will always test positive in a patient who has experienced hepatitis A, B or C. The management of chronic hepatitis B is complex and based on a myriad of factors. Some patients manage their condition with long-term antiviral medications.
However, vaccinations for hepatitis A and B have proven highly effective. Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended and routinely done in infancy, Zappas affirmed. Most people respond to these vaccinations, but post-vaccination testing may be indicated in high-risk patients.
The outlook is even brighter when it comes to hepatitis C: Over the last 10 years, the hepatitis C treatment regimens have evolved, Zappas said. Now, theres nearly a 90% cure rate with certain antiviral medications, which can eradicate the replication of the hepatitis C RNA and therefore abate the damage of the virus on the liver. It is important to note that patients are not immune to hepatitis C after treatment, and can be reinfected and/or contract another strain.
To measure the effects, providers look for a sustained virologic response indicating that the virus remains inactive, which is evaluated between 12 and 24 weeks after beginning the medication.
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Treatment: Chronic Hepatitis C
The latest drug to be approved by the FDA is glecaprevir and pibrentasvir . This medication offers a shorter treatment cycle of 8 weeks for adult patients with all types of HCV who donât have cirrhosis and who have not been previously treated. The length of treatment is longer for those who are in a different disease stage. The prescribed dosage for this medicine is 3 tablets daily.
There are several other combination drugs available, as well as some single drugs that may be used in combination. Your doctor will choose the right one for you depending on the type of hepatitis C you have, how well your liver is functioning and any other medical problems you may have. Also be sure to discuss your insurance coverage since these medications are expensive.
How Serious Is It
- People can be sick for a few weeks to a few months
- Most recover with no lasting liver damage
- Although very rare, death can occur
- 15%25% of chronically infected people develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer
- More than 50% of people who get infected with the hepatitis C virus develop a chronic infection
- 5%-25% of people with chronic hepatitis C develop cirrhosis over 1020 years
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How To Protect Yourself Against Hepatitis A
There is an effective vaccine against hepatitis A that is recommended for all children at age 1. However, most adults probably have not received it because the vaccine wasnt required when they were young. Dr. Fried says you can come in contact with the hepatitis A infection pretty much anywhere, so its a good idea for everyone older than 1 to get the vaccine, whether or not theyve had any known exposure or traveled to regions where hepatitis A is common.
In addition to getting vaccinated, you should wash your hands every time you go to the bathroom and before handling or serving food or drinks. Also be sure to wash and rinse raw produce before eating or serving it. Cooking raw produce further reduces the risk of infection.
How To Protect Yourself Against Hepatitis B
Dr. Fried emphasizes that hepatitis B infection can be prevented by avoiding risky behaviors involving sex and drugs and by getting vaccinated. The hepatitis B vaccination is required for infants at birth, and subsequent vaccinations for adults are also important. There are separate vaccines for hepatitis A and B, but there is also a combination A and B vaccine so you can take care of both types at once. In North Carolina, newborn vaccinations have been required since 1994. Anyone born before this year should talk to their health care provider about being vaccinated for hepatitis B.
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Passing On Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is rarely passed on during sex like hepatitis A and B are, but is usually spread through blood-to-blood contact, which can include sharing needles.
There is no immunity to hepatitis C, and it is possible to get it again, even if previous infections have cleared. If left untreated, hepatitis C can be fatal. Hepatitis C can also be chronic, meaning it leaves long-term effects. In very serious cases, it can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.
If you have concerns about possible hepatitis, you should consult your GP or a sexual health professional.
You can also find advice below, with websites linking to support groups in various areas:
How Do You Get Hepatitis A
The main way you get hepatitis A is when you eat or drink something that has the hep A virus in it. A lot of times this happens in a restaurant. If an infected worker there doesn’t wash their hands well after using the bathroom, and then touches food, they could pass the disease to you.
Food or drinks you buy at the supermarket can sometimes cause the disease, too. The ones most likely to get contaminated are:
You could catch or spread it if you’re taking care of a baby and you don’t wash your hands after changing their diaper. This can happen, for example, at a day care center.
Another way you can get hep A is when you have sex with someone who has it.
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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.
How Is Hepatitis Spread
Hepatitis A or HAV is spread through close personal contact. It can be spread through sex, eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. People living in the same household as an infected person are at a high risk.
Hepatitis B or HBV is found in blood and some bodily fluids. HBV is spread when you come into contact with contaminated blood or bodily fluids. It is spread through unprotected sex, sharing drug needles or from an infected mother to her child.
Hepatitis C or HCV is also found in blood and some bodily fluids. It is spread through sharing needles, exposure to needlesticks or sharps on the job and in some instance through an infected mother to her child. Although not common, it is possible to transmit HCV during sexual intercourse.
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Hepatitis A And B Vaccines
There are vaccines to protect against hepatitis A and B. The CDC recommends hepatitis A vaccination for all children ages 12 to 23 months and for adults who plan to travel or work in areas with hepatitis A outbreaks or who have other risk factors. People with chronic hepatitis B or C should also get the hepatitis A vaccine if they don’t already have immunity to the disease. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants at birth and for adults who have any of the risk factors we discussed earlier. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
Can Hepatitis B Be Treated What Treatments Are Available
Good treatments are available for all adults who hold Medicare cards. Treatment aims to prevent liver damage but is not an actual cure. Not everyone will need
treatment and there are short- or long term options. Please phone the Hepatitis Infoline on 1800 803 990 for more information. Read more about monitoring and treatment of hep B.
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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.
How Can I Contract Hepatitis A
You can contract the hepatitis A virus by eating food or drinking beverages that have been contaminated by human fecal waste.
Resort activities that may put you at risk for hepatitis A include:
Eating food handled by an infected worker who did not wash his/her hands properly after using the washroom
Eating raw or undercooked seafood and shellfish that lived in sewage-polluted water
Eating salads or produce rinsed in contaminated water
Drinking contaminated water or drinks with contaminated ice
Bathing, showering, or swimming in contaminated water
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