Health Wise

To mark the oc­ca­sion of World Hepati­tis Day on 28th July, we bring you a com­pre­hen­sive guide on the dif­fer­ent types of Hepati­tis virus and how you can beat them.

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Fight Hepati­tis

Hepati­tis is not new to In­dia. But as per the lat­est sta­tis­tics, we are a na­tion with six mil­lion peo­ple in­fected with Hepati­tis B virus and around six to 12 mil­lion in­fected with Hepati­tis C virus. Dr Rakesh Rai, se­nior con­sul­tant HPB & trans­plant surgery, For­tis Hos­pi­tal, Mum­bai, tells us all about this deadly virus, its causes, treat­ment and more.

What is Hepati­tis virus? Hepati­tis virus is a virus which pre­dom­i­nantly prefers to stay in the liver, and has the po­ten­tial to cause liver dam­age. As more and more liver cells get dam­aged, the liver func­tion­ing de­te­ri­o­rates.

Root Cause The cause of get­ting the virus in the body de­pends on the type of virus a per­son is in­fected with. For ex­am­ple, Hepati­tis A and E viruses en­ter the body through con­tam­i­nated food and drinks, while B, C and D viruses en­ter through the blood.

Types Of Hepati­tis Virus

Hepati­tis a Cause Hepati­tis A virus is mainly caused by con­sum­ing con­tam­i­nated food and liq­uid.

Symp­toms The per­son is likely to ex­pe­ri­ence fever, loss of ap­petite, ab­dom­i­nal pain, jaun­dice etc. In some cases, it may lead to liver fail­ure.

Pre­ven­tion There is a vac­cine avail­able for Hepati­tis A. Also, one should con­sume good qual­ity food to keep one­self healthy and be able to bat­tle the virus. Hepati­tis B Causes

Hepati­tis B virus de­vel­ops when a per­son comes in con­tact with in­fected blood and body flu­ids. It may be trans­mit­ted from an in­fected mother to her child dur­ing birth. It can also be trans­mit­ted through sex­ual in­ter­course or by com­ing in con­tact with reused prod­ucts of the in­fected per­son like sy­ringes, blades etc.

Symp­toms The symp­toms in this type of virus in­clude fever, jaun­dice, anorexia (lack/ loss ap­petite for food) etc.

Pre­ven­tion Vac­cine for Hepati­tis B virus is avail­able.

Hepati­tis C Cause Its trans­mis­sion is the same as the Hepati­tis B virus.

Symp­toms It may not show any symp­tom, but can cause slow dam­age to the liver over the years.

Do not drink un­clean or un­fil­tered wa­ter. Do not eat food which may be con­tam­i­nated, like those pre­pared on the road­side.

Pre­ven­tion There is no vac­cine avail­able for this virus. One must avoid com­ing in con­tact with con­tam­i­nated blood and body flu­ids.

Hepati­tis D It can only in­fect peo­ple who are in­fected by Hepati­tis B. Hepati­tis D virus is al­ways seen in the pres­ence of Hepati­tis B. So it projects the same symp­toms as Hepati­tis B. Vac­ci­na­tion is, how­ever, avail­able for the same.

Hepati­tis e Cause Hepati­tis E virus is caused by con­sump­tion of con­tam­i­nated food and drink.

Symp­toms The symp­toms for this virus is the same as Hepati­tis A which in­clude fever, loss of ap­petite, ab­dom­i­nal pain, jaun­dice etc. It can also lead to liver fail­ure. Pre­ven­tion There is no vac­cine avail­able to treat the virus. Hepati­tis G It is a rare kind of Hepati­tis virus and does not cause any ill­ness.

treat­ment for all types of Hepati­tis There is no spe­cific med­i­ca­tion for Hepati­tis A and E. Sup­port­ive treat­ment for pain, fever, de­hy­dra­tion etc can be given. For Hepati­tis B, C and D, there are oral drugs avail­able to cure the dis­ease. SNEHA SURESHKUMAR

Take pro­tec­tive mea­sures while hav­ing sex. Make sure dis­pos­able sy­ringes and nee­dles are used while get­ting blood tests done.

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