How Is Hepatitis C Infection Prevented
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. To reduce your risk of getting hepatitis C:
- Injection drug use is the most common way people get hepatitis C. Avoid injecting drugs to reduce your risk. If you do inject drugs, use sterile injection equipment. Avoid reusing or sharing.
- Avoid sharing personal care items that might have blood on them
- If you are a health care or public safety worker, follow universal blood/body fluid precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps
- Consider the risks if you are thinking about tattooing, body piercing, or acupuncture are the instruments properly sterilized?
- If youre having sex with more than one partner, use latex condoms correctly and every time to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis C.
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Who Is At Risk Of Getting Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is usually spread from person to person, making it highly contagious. But certain factors can increase your risk of contracting it, including:
- living in an area where hepatitis A is common, including most countries with low sanitation standards or a lack of safe water
- injecting or using illegal drugs
- living in the same household as someone whos hepatitis A-positive
- having sexual activity with someone whos hepatitis A-positive
- being HIV-positive
World Health Organization reports that more than 90 percent of children living in countries with low sanitation standards will have had a hepatitis A infection by age 10.
In past decades, people with clotting disorders like hemophilia were at higher risk of contracting hepatitis A via transfusion therapy, though these cases are extremely rare today.
Is Hepatitis Treatable
For most people with viral hepatitis, effective treatments do exist. The earlier you see Dr. Rivas for an evaluation, the sooner you can receive an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment. The type of treatment Dr. Rivas recommends depends on the type of hepatitis you have.
Some forms of hepatitis respond well to rest, hydration, a healthy diet, and time. In other cases, you may need to take antiviral medications for months or years and maintain regular check-ups with Dr. Rivas. In severe cases or if you develop cirrhosis as the result of your hepatitis, you may require a liver transplant.
Dont wait to contact the Rivas Digestive Center in Hollywood, Florida, if you have any signs of hepatitis. You can call our office at 954-228-5882 or book an online consultation now.
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Stages Of Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus affects people in different ways and has several stages:
- Incubation period. This is the time between first exposure to the start of the disease. It can last anywhere from 14 to 80 days, but the average is 45
- Acute hepatitis C. This is a short-term illness that lasts for the first 6 months after the virus enters your body. After that, some people who have it will get rid of, or clear, the virus on their own.
- Chronic hepatitis C. For most people who get hepatitis C â up to 85% â the illness moves into a long-lasting stage . This is called a chronic hepatitis C infection and can lead to serious health problems like liver cancer or cirrhosis.
- Cirrhosis. This disease leads to inflammation that, over time, replaces your healthy liver cells with scar tissue. It usually takes about 20 to 30 years for this to happen, though it can be faster if you drink alcohol or have HIV.
- Liver cancer. Cirrhosis makes liver cancer more likely. Your doctor will make sure you get regular tests because there are usually no symptoms in the early stages.
- 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
Eating Diet And Nutrition For Hepatitis B
If you have hepatitis B, you should eat a balanced, healthy diet. Obesity can increase the chance of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease , and NAFLD can increase liver damage in people who have hepatitis B. Talk with your doctor about healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight.
You should also avoid alcohol because it can cause more liver damage.
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What Are Elevated Liver Enzymes
When the liver is injured or inflamed, it may release certain substances into the bloodstream. Elevated levels of these substances, including liver enzymes, might indicate a problem.
A simple blood test can detect liver enzyme levels. Your healthcare provider may discover elevated liver enzymes after a routine blood test during an annual physical, or they may test liver function if you have certain symptoms.
There are several different liver enzymes. A typical liver function test might assess the following liver enzymes:
Individuals with particular medical conditions may also undergo routine liver tests. People with severe hypertension, lupus, diabetes, and colon cancer are at an increased risk for developing liver disease and may require more routine screening.
How Do You Get Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A can be spread by sexual contact with an infected person or close personal contact . However, it is most often spread by what scientists call the fecal-oral route. This happens when one person eats or drinks something that has small amounts of fecal matter from another person who has hepatitis A. This can happen by touching something that has the virus on it and then putting your hands in your mouth. It can happen when food is grown, picked, processed or served. Water can also be contaminated.
Mothers do not pass on hepatitis A in breast milk. You cannot be infected with HAV by sitting near to or hugging someone with hepatitis A. It does not spread through coughs or sneezes.
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History And Physical Exam
To diagnose all forms of hepatitis, your doctor will first take your history to determine any risk factors you may have.
During a physical examination, your doctor may press down gently on your abdomen to see if thereâs pain or tenderness. Your doctor may also check for any swelling of the liver and any yellow discoloration in your eyes or skin.
Hepatitis A: What Happens
Hepatitis A is highly contagious and can spread from person to person in many different settings. It typically causes only a mild illness, and many people who are infected may never realize they’re sick at all. The virus almost always goes away on its own and does not cause long-term liver damage.
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Whats The Difference Between Acute And Chronic Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a contagious disease caused by HCV, which is spread through contact with blood and bodily fluids that contain HCV. This disease damages your liver. There are two types of hepatitis C infection: acute and chronic.
Acute hepatitis C is a short-term viral infection. People with acute hepatitis C carry the infection for a small window of time, often just several months . Most people with the acute form of hepatitis C will experience illness and mild symptoms such as fatigue and vomiting within the first six months after exposure. In many cases, the disease causes no symptoms at all.
Acute hepatitis C may improve or resolve without treatment. It leads to chronic infection in 75 to 85 percent of cases. The chronic form may cause long-term problems in your liver, including liver damage and liver cancer.
HCV is spread through direct contact with blood or certain bodily fluids that contain HCV. Its safe to engage in the following activities without worry of transmission:
If your doctor suspects that you have hepatitis C, they will draw blood to check for HCV antibodies. Antibodies are substances your body produces when its fighting an infection. If you have them, your doctor may order a second test to confirm that the virus is still present.
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Experts Answers For Readers Questions
How long can the hepatitis B virus live outside the body?
Hepatitis B virus can live outside the body for up to 7 days, during which it is infectious and can cause infections.
Is Hepatitis B the main focus of OSHA BBP regulations?
OSHA bloodborne pathogens regulations mainly include but are not limited to bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis B virus , hepatitis C virus , and human immunodeficiency virus .
How long do hepatitis B vaccines last?
The immunological memory of HBV vaccines remains intact for 20-30 years if the vaccine is administered at six months of age.
Can hepatitis B be cured totally?
While hepatitis B cannot be cured, it usually goes away on its own in 4-8 weeks. However, in some individuals, this infection can become chronic, and the infected people will be carriers of hepatitis B.
When to get the hepatitis B vaccine?
The first shot of the hepatitis B virus is usually given at birth. This vaccine has 2, 3, or 4 shots, and the series is mostly completed by the time the infant turns 6 months.
What is the schedule for hepatitis B vaccine for adults?
The hepatitis B vaccine schedule for adults includes four weeks between the first and second dose, eight weeks between the second and third dose, and at least sixteen weeks between the first and third dose.
What are the side effects of hepatitis B vaccine in babies?
Can you get a hepatitis B shot while pregnant?
What organ does hepatitis B affect?
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Medications For Hepatitis C
Medications called direct-acting antivirals work to fully remove the hepatitis C virus from your body while helping prevent liver damage at the same time.
A few brand names of these medications include:
6 different genotypes , or strains, of hepatitis C.
Once your doctor or other healthcare professional knows your genotype, theyll have a better idea of which medication will work best for you. Some strains have developed a resistance to some medications, so your genotype can affect your treatment options.
How Is Hepatitis B Tested
Once you visit a doctor, they may begin by conducting a physical examination to look for symptoms of liver damage, such as belly pain or jaundice. Any one or a combination of the following diagnostic tests may be suggested to diagnose hepatitis B and the associated complications:
- Blood test To detect the presence of the virus
- Liver ultrasound To help in detecting the extent of liver damage
- Liver biopsy To check for symptoms of liver damage
If you happen to test positive for hepatitis B, your doctor may prescribe any of the following treatments depending on whether your infection is acute or chronic.
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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.
When Will Symptoms Appear After You Have Been Exposed To Hav
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 Causes Hepatitis A And How Is It Contracted
People develop a hepatitis A infection after contracting HAV. This virus is typically transmitted by ingesting food or liquid contaminated with fecal matter that contains the virus. Once transmitted, the virus spreads through the bloodstream to the liver, where it causes inflammation and swelling.
In addition to transmission from eating food or drinking water containing HAV, the virus can also be spread by close personal contact with someone who already has it. HAV is contagious, and a person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others living in the same household.
You can contract hepatitis A by:
- eating food prepared by someone with the hepatitis A virus
- eating food handled by preparers who dont follow strict hand-washing routines before touching food that you eat
- eating sewage-contaminated raw shellfish
- having sex with someone who has the hepatitis A virus
- drinking polluted water
- coming in contact with hepatitis A-infected fecal matter
If you contract the virus, youll be contagious 2 weeks before symptoms even appear. The contagious period ends about 1 week after symptoms appear.
What Are The Treatments For Hepatitis
Treatment for hepatitis depends on which type you have and whether it is acute or chronic. Acute viral hepatitis often goes away on its own. To feel better, you may just need to rest and get enough fluids. But in some cases, it may be more serious. You might even need treatment in a hospital.
There are different medicines to treat the different chronic types of hepatitis. Possible other treatments may include surgery and other medical procedures. People who have alcoholic hepatitis need to stop drinking. If your chronic hepatitis leads to liver failure or liver cancer, you may need a liver transplant.
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How Do You Prevent Hepatitis C
Researchers have yet to develop a vaccine that prevents hepatitis C .
Just as you might not know you have hepatitis C, other people with the condition may not know they have it, either. But you can take a few key precautions to avoid contracting it:
- Avoid sharing needles.
- When getting piercings or tattoos, check to make sure the piercer or tattoo artist uses only sterile, unopened needles and ink.
- Avoid sharing nail clippers, razors, and toothbrushes.
- Use sterile gloves when caring for someone elses wound.
Since hepatitis C is transmitted through blood, you wont get it by sharing food and drinks with someone who has the condition or by hugging, touching, or holding hands.
Hepatitis C is not commonly transmitted through sexual contact. But using a condom or another barrier method when having sex can always help lower your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
Keep in mind that you can contract hepatitis C again, even if youve had it already.
Hepatitis C Antibody Test
Certain foreign substances that enter your body trigger your immune system to make antibodies. Antibodies are specifically programmed to only target the foreign substance they were made to fight.
If youve ever had a hepatitis C infection, your body will make hepatitis C antibodies as part of its immune response.
Your body only makes these antibodies if you have hepatitis C or had it in the past. So the hepatitis C antibody test can confirm whether you have the virus by testing for these specific antibodies.
If the antibody test is positive, an HCV RNA test can show whether the infection is current.
While people of any gender experience the same hepatitis C symptoms, 2014 research suggested some effects of the virus may differ, depending on the sex you were assigned at birth.
Researchers noted that:
- women have a higher chance of clearing the virus without treatment
- liver disease may progress more rapidly in men
- men have a higher chance of developing cirrhosis
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When To Seek Medical Advice
See your GP if you persistently have any of the later symptoms listed, or if they keep returning. They may recommend having a blood test that can check for hepatitis C.
Read more about diagnosing hepatitis C
None of these symptoms mean you definitely have hepatitis C, but its important to get them checked out.
You should also speak to your GP about getting tested if theres a risk youre infected, even if you dont have any symptoms. This particularly includes people who inject drugs or have done so in the past.
Read about the causes of hepatitis C for more information about whos at risk of having the infection.
Page last reviewed: 27 October 2021 Next review due: 27 October 2024
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Cytopathic Effects On The Host Cell
The range of structural and biochemical effects that viruses have on the host cell is extensive. These are called ”. Most virus infections eventually result in the death of the host cell. The causes of death include cell lysis, alterations to the cell’s surface membrane and . Often cell death is caused by cessation of its normal activities because of suppression by virus-specific proteins, not all of which are components of the virus particle. The distinction between cytopathic and harmless is gradual. Some viruses, such as , can cause cells to proliferate without causing malignancy, while others, such as , are established causes of cancer.
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