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.
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.