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What is Viral Hepatitis? Know risk factors, symptoms, prevention and treatment

This article highlights the transmission and risk factors of viral hepatitis. Timely treatment will help to improve the quality of life of the patient.

Written By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Published on: June 12, 2024 15:11 IST
viral hepatitis transmission
Image Source : SOCIAL Know about viral hepatitis transmission.

Viral hepatitis is an infection that causes inflammation and liver damage. Several different viruses cause hepatitis, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. The hepatitis A and E viruses are known to induce acute infections while hepatitis B, C, and D viruses can cause acute and chronic infections. Viral hepatitis is a growing matter of concern that has taken a toll on a large number of people in the country.  Did you know? When it comes to transmission, Hepatitis A and E tend to spread via contaminated food or water, while hepatitis B and C are transmitted through blood or bodily fluids. Hepatitis D can only infect those who are known to have hepatitis B. Are you aware? The risk factors for viral hepatitis transmission differ depending on the type of virus.

Risk factors:

When we spoke to Dr Alisha Chaubal, Senior Consultant - Hepatology and Liver Transplant, Gleneagles Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, regarding the same, she said, risk factors include unsafe injection practices, unprotected sex with an infected individual, sharing personal items such as razors with someone who has the virus, and travelling to regions with poor sanitation. It is essential to be aware of these risk factors to prevent the spread of viral hepatitis and protect from infection. 

The symptoms: 

Symptoms can vary depending on the type of hepatitis but generally include fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, abdominal pain, nausea, and loss of appetite.

The treatment and prevention: 

Treatment for viral hepatitis varies on the type of virus that has led to the infection. For hepatitis B, antiviral medications are generally prescribed to curb the replication of the virus in the body. Someone with complete liver damage may need a liver transplant.  Vaccination against hepatitis A and B is highly effective in preventing infection. Practicing safe sex, avoiding sharing needles, and maintaining good hygiene are also important measures to reduce the chances of acquiring viral hepatitis. Also, avoid smoking, and alcohol and take enough rest.  Awareness campaigns based on viral hepatitis transmission and prevention aim to reduce the burden of this disease.  Moreover, you will have to adhere to the instructions given by the doctor. Self-medication is a strict no-no.

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