The Dif­fer­ence Be­tween Hep­ati­tis B and C

Wellness Update - - EXPLORE -

• While there is a vac­cine that pro­tects against hep­ati­tis

B in­fec­tion, there is no vac­cine avail­able for hep­ati­tis C • Both viruses can be con­tracted though

blood-to-blood con­tact • Hep­ati­tis B is more in­fec­tious than hep­ati­tis C and can

also be spread through saliva, se­men and vagi­nal fluid • In the case of hep­ati­tis B, in­fec­tion can oc­cur through hav­ing un­pro­tected sex with an in­fected per­son. Please note that this is much rarer in the case of hep­ati­tis C • While un­likely, it is pos­si­ble to con­tract hep­ati­tis B through kiss­ing. You can­not con­tract hep­ati­tis C through kiss­ing • Nei­ther virus is eas­ily spread through ev­ery­day con­tact. You can­not get in­fected with hep­ati­tis B or C by shak­ing hands, cough­ing or sneez­ing, or by us­ing the same toi­let. There are dif­fer­ent treat­ments for the two viruses. While treat­ment can con­trol chronic hep­ati­tis B, it can of­ten cure hep­ati­tis C • Even if treat­ment is not an op­tion for you, you can do some­thing about your disease. A healthy life­style is im­por­tant. Al­co­hol, smok­ing, eat­ing fatty foods, be­ing over­weight or ex­treme di­et­ing (eat­ing no food at all) may worsen your liver disease. There­fore, try to avoid all al­co­hol, stop smok­ing, eat a low fat diet with enough fruit and veg­eta­bles, and re­duce your weight if nec­es­sary

Hep­ati­tis B

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) rec­og­nizes that hep­ati­tis B is one of the ma­jor dis­eases af­fect­ing mankind to­day. Hep­ati­tis B is one of the most com­mon vi­ral in­fec­tions in the world and the WHO es­ti­mates that two bil­lion peo­ple have been in­fected with the hep­ati­tis B virus and ap­prox­i­mately 350 mil­lion peo­ple are liv­ing with chronic (life­long) in­fec­tions. 500,000 – 700,000 peo­ple die ev­ery year from hep­ati­tis B. The hep­ati­tis B virus is highly in­fec­tious and about 50-100 times more in­fec­tious than HIV. In nine out of ten adults, acute hep­ati­tis B in­fec­tion will go away on its own in the first six months. How­ever, if the virus be­comes chronic, it may cause liver cir­rho­sis and liver can­cer af­ter up to 40 years, but in some cases as lit­tle as five years af­ter di­ag­no­sis.

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