Who Is More Likely To Get Hepatitis B
People are more likely to get hepatitis B if they are born to a mother who has hepatitis B. The virus can spread from mother to child during birth. For this reason, people are more likely to have hepatitis B if they
- were born in a part of the world where 2 percent or more of the population has hepatitis B infection
- were born in the United States, didnt receive the hepatitis B vaccine as an infant, and have parents who were born in an area where 8 percent or more of the population had hepatitis B infection
People are also more likely to have hepatitis B if they
- are infected with HIV, because hepatitis B and HIV spread in similar ways
- have lived with or had sex with someone who has hepatitis B
- have had more than one sex partner in the last 6 months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease
- are men who have sex with men
- are injection drug users
- work in a profession, such as health care, in which they have contact with blood, needles, or body fluids at work
- live or work in a care facility for people with developmental disabilities
- have been on kidney dialysis
- live or work in a prison
- had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before the mid-1980s
In the United States, hepatitis B spreads among adults mainly through contact with infected blood through the skin, such as during injection drug use, and through sexual contact.12
Hepatitis And Dental Work: What Are The Safety Protocols
Since the worst scenario for a person that wants to avoid hepatitis is close contact infection, it is our recommendation always to follow safety protocols and guidelines. Patients and dental staff are susceptible to exposure, particularly in a hospital or clinic setting. Organizations like the American Dental Association, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, as well as the World Health Organization, have guidelines for dentists and patients in the dentistry practice. You may also ask for additional information from your local dental clinic or office to remind you which hepatitis is the worst before any medical or oral care appointment.
Dental Offices And Clinics
Occupational safety and hazard prevention policies are required for any kind of job. But, it can be one of the worst days of a dental practitioner if he or she has no idea what to do when a patient or a coworker has hepatitis. Since there is a higher chance of acquiring hepatitis through blood, body fluids and needles, sterilization is the priority before any operation. Particularly, a patient that may need anesthesia for a tooth extraction should have needles sterilized through an autoclave. Furthermore, necessary protection equipment such as face masks, gloves, protective eyewear, etc. is advised. Cleaning and disinfecting rooms, surfaces, and the floor may also help in infection control.
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Living With Hepatitis B
Risk of chronic infection caused by hepatitis B is related to your age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection . Approximately 90% of infected infants become chronically infected compared with 2%-6% of adult, reports the CDC.
Chronic hepatitis B infection can lead to serious health issues. If you have it, you should be monitored regularly by a doctor. This means you should check in with your doctor at least once or twice a year. Some people who have chronic hepatitis B infection require medicine, but others do not. Your doctor can discuss treatment options with you.
If you have chronic hepatitis B infection, it will likely stay in your blood and liver for a lifetime, according to The Hepatitis B Foundation. This means that you could pass the virus to others, even if you dont feel sick.
The most important thing to remember is that hepatitis B is a chronic medical condition that can be successfully managed if you take good care of your health and your liver, reports the Hepatitis B Foundation. You should expect to live a long, full life.
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Do You Need Vaccinations Before Traveling Abroad
The CDC divides travel vaccinations into three categories: 1) routine, 2) recommended, and 3) required. The only vaccine classified as ârequiredâ by International Health Regulations is the yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America.
âRoutineâ vaccinations are those that are normally administered, usually during childhood, in the United States. These include immunizations against:
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What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis And How Can You Prevent It From Spreading
The treatment for hepatitis varies depending on the type of virus. There is no cure for hepatitis C, but there are treatments available that can help people manage the virus and live normal, healthy lives. For hepatitis B, there is a vaccine that can prevent the virus from spreading, and there are also treatments available to help people manage the virus.
For all types of hepatitis, it is important to practice safe sex and to avoid sharing needles. If you think you may have been exposed to any type of hepatitis virus, it is important to see a doctor right away for testing and treatment.
Herbal supplements can be very effective in supporting normal liver function. Milk thistle, for example, is a well-known herb that has been used for centuries to support liver health. Other herbs that have been traditionally used to support liver function include dandelion, turmeric, and ginger. These herbs can be found in many different forms, such as capsules, teas, and tinctures. Speak with a healthcare professional to find the best herbal supplement for you.
How Is Viral Hepatitis Prevented
Prevention of hepatitis involves measures to avoid exposure to the viruses, using immunoglobulin in the event of exposure, and vaccines. Administration of immunoglobulin is called passive protection because antibodies from patients who have had viral hepatitis are given to the patient. Vaccination is called active protection because killed viruses or non-infectious components of viruses are given to stimulate the body to produce its own antibodies.
Avoidance of exposure to viruses
Use of immunoglobulins
Immune serum globulin is human serum that contains antibodies to hepatitis A. ISG can be administered to prevent infection in individuals who have been exposed to hepatitis A. ISG works immediately upon administration, and the duration of protection is several months. ISG usually is given to travelers to regions of the world where there are high rates of hepatitis A infection and to close or household contacts of patients with hepatitis A infection. ISG is safe with few side effects.
Individuals at increased risk of acquiring hepatitis A are:
Some local health authorities or private companies may require hepatitis A vaccination for food handlers.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for:
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Progress Being Made Worldwide
All types of viral hepatitis can be controlled or prevented.
- Hepatitis C can be cured a once-daily medication taken by mouth for 8-12 weeks can cure most people who are infected with hepatitis C. In 2019, 9.4 million people were receiving treatment for chronic HCV infection, greater than a nine-fold increase since 2015 .
- Medications to manage hepatitis B are available to help prevent liver damage and slow progression of the disease.
- Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can both be prevented with safe and effective vaccines. Efforts to increase the number of children vaccinated against hepatitis B around the world have dramatically reduced the number of new hepatitis B virus infections.
Hepatitis A and hepatitis E can also be prevented, and cases reduced with improvements in sanitation, because these infections are transmitted from infected feces either person-to-person or through contaminated food and drinking water.
Common Symptoms Of Hepatitis
If you are living with a chronic form of hepatitis, like hepatitis B and C, you may not show symptoms until the damage affects liver function. By contrast, people with acute hepatitis may present with symptoms shortly after contracting a hepatitis virus.
Common symptoms of infectious hepatitis include:
It is crucial to understand what is causing hepatitis in order to treat it correctly. Doctors will progress through a series of tests to accurately diagnose your condition.
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How Long Before I Have Symptoms
Many people have mild symptoms or no symptoms, which is why hepatitis is sometimes called a âsilentâ disease.
Hepatitis A. The symptoms usually show up 2 to 6 weeks after the virus enters your body. They usually last for less than 2 months, though sometimes you can be sick for as long as 6 months.
Some warning signs that you may have hepatitis A are:
Hepatitis B. The symptoms are the same as hepatitis A, and you usually get them 3 months after you’re infected. They could show up, though, anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months later.
Sometimes the symptoms are mild and last just a few weeks. For some people, the hep B virus stays in the body and leads to long-term liver problems.
Hepatitis C. The early symptoms are the same as hepatitis A and B, and they usually happen 6 to 7 weeks after the virus gets in your body. But you could notice them anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months later.
For about 25% of people who get hep C, the virus goes away on its own without treatment. In other cases, it sticks around for years. When that happens, your liver might get damaged.
Remember, it’s possible to spread all the types of hepatitis even if you don’t show any signs of being sick.
Hepatitis A B And C: What Is The Difference
A, B, C D and E.
Aside from the letters associated with it, how much do you know about hepatitis? Whats the difference between the types? And if you get a vaccination for hepatitis, which are you protected from?
We spoke with Moises Ilan Nevah, MD, a transplant hepatologist/gastroenterologist and medical director of the Liver Transplant Program at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix, to help better understand the similarities and differences between the various types of hepatitis, who is at risk and when to get vaccinated.
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Who Is At Risk
Anyone who has not been vaccinated or previously infected can get infected with the hepatitis A virus. In areas where the virus is widespread , most hepatitis A infections occur during early childhood. Risk factors include:
- poor sanitation
- travelling to areas of high endemicity without being immunized.
Causes Of Noninfectious Hepatitis
Although hepatitis is most commonly the result of an infection, other factors can cause the condition.
Alcohol and other toxins
Excess alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and inflammation. This may also be referred to as alcoholic hepatitis.
The alcohol directly injures the cells of your liver. Over time, it can cause permanent damage and lead to thickening or scarring of liver tissue and liver failure.
Other toxic causes of hepatitis include misuse of medications and exposure to toxins.
Autoimmune system response
In some cases, the immune system mistakes the liver as harmful and attacks it. This causes ongoing inflammation that can range from mild to severe, often hindering liver function. Itâs three times more common in women than in men.
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Further Prevention And Management Of Hepatitis
Precaution for any personnel may start from a vaccination as well. A reputable clinic should always maintain the safety of their employees first. Hepatitis vaccination is usually the requirement for any medical or dental practitioner. Moreover, if there is already an exposure and infection, the hospital should trace those in contact with the patient or the staff to prevent an outbreak. Professional practice is also crucial when dealing with extractions, implants, and standard surgery procedures. Long term infected patients may even have no symptoms, so a liver health record may disclose which hepatitis is the worst during dental practice.
How Dangerous Is Hepatitis
Millions of people are affected globally with the issue of hepatitis. Globally, at least 71 million people are suffering from both the viral infection and autoimmune versions of hepatitis. Hepatitis affects anyone and ranges from mild symptoms to severe and chronic lifelong illness. If a patient with a hepatitis infection doesnt maintain his or her health, complications such as liver cancer or inflammation can get worse. Hepatitis is also one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization , at least 399,000 people died from hepatitis C from 2016. It is vital to get the vaccine as early as possible to prevent the dangers of HAV, HBV, and HCV.
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How Is Hepatitis Diagnosed
The first step in diagnosing a hepatitis infection is to receive a medical exam from your doctor. The doctor will perform a physical to look for signs of the illness. All the varieties of hepatitis present with a very similar set of symptoms, which includes:
You may also experience jaundice or a yellowing of the skin and eyes and bowel movements that appear gray. Michael says, Fortunately, most patients are asymptomatic. If you have hepatitis B and its an active condition, meaning youre sick from it, your skin and eyes are going to have a yellow tint.
The doctor will look for these telltale signs and then order blood work to spot the viral load for the type of hepatitis and whether the infection is dormant or active. If the virus is active, you are contagious. The blood test can also determine if the infection is acute or chronic .
If the blood test confirms hepatitis, the doctor may also order an ultrasound of the liver to see if it is inflamed. The ultrasound should also show if the liver is scarred with cirrhosis. You may also have a CT or MRI to look more closely at the liver or signs of liver cancer. This is especially important if you have a family history of the disease.
Finally, in the unusual event that the imaging tests arent shedding light on the situation, the clinician may order a liver biopsy.
The Health Effects Of Hep B Became Too Much For Me
Later, I had a breakout of hep B, and my liver function tests showed that the virus might be damaging my liver. The doctor prescribed anti-viral medication, which helped to get my blood indicators back to normal. The doctor said I needed to take this treatment every day for the rest of my life, otherwise the virus would most likely become resistant to the medicine.
While I have followed the doctors advice, concerns over my health and the social pressures of living with hep B have had a dramatic effect on my personality. I became withdrawn and began to lose too much weight.
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Hepatitis A B And C: Whats The Difference
Hepatitis is often caused by a virus that comes in different strains. The most common strains of hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, and C. They all are contagious, but they differ primarily by the way they are spread.
Table: Differences among hepatitis A, B, and C
Table: Differences among hepatitis A, B, and C
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 Causes Hepatitis B
- being born to a mother with hepatitis B
- having unprotected sex with an infected person
- sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
- getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
- being tattooed or pierced with tools that were used on an infected person and werent properly sterilized, or cleaned in a way that destroys all viruses and other microbes
- having contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
- using an infected persons razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers
You cant get hepatitis B from
- being coughed on or sneezed on by an infected person
- drinking unclean water or untreated water that has not been boiled
- eating food that is unclean or has not been properly cooked
- hugging an infected person
- shaking hands or holding hands with an infected person
- sharing spoons, forks, and other eating utensils
- sitting next to an infected person
Mothers who have hepatitis B can safely breastfeed their babies. If a baby receives hepatitis B immune globulin and starts receiving the hepatitis B vaccine to prevent hepatitis B infection shortly after birth, hepatitis B is unlikely to spread from mother to child through breastfeeding.15
Hepatitis Cases In Children
The number of cases of hepatitis in children has increased recently. Public health doctors and scientists are looking into what could be causing this.
See a GP if your child has symptoms of hepatitis, including yellowing of the eyes and skin .
Good hygiene, including supervising hand washing in young children, can help to prevent infections that can cause hepatitis.
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