Hepatitis Types

Hepatitis Types; Most common ways hepatitis viruses spread among humans

According to WHO, hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The most common hepatitis types are viral hepatitis and can be caused by five viruses which are: Hepatitis virus A, B, C, D, and E. 

Each virus is dangerous. 

However, some are more dangerous than others. They all spread in different ways and have different risk factors. 

The five main types of hepatitis virus or diseases and the risk factors associated with each: 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes liver disease. It is infected when a healthy person consumes food or water contaminated with the feces of the infected person. High-risk activities associated with this are inadequate hygiene, poor personal hygiene, and unsafe oral or anal intercourse.

Hepatitis B

This is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and this infection can be acute or chronic. Hepatitis B is highly contagious and spreads through contact with blood or other fluids of an infected person, but it is not spread through saliva, so it is safe to kiss or share a pot. High-risk activities associated with hepatitis B infection include unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex, clinging to a contaminated needle, or mother-to-child infection during childbirth.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes this disease. The only way to spread hepatitis C is if a healthy person is in contact with the blood of an infected person. High-risk activities associated with hepatitis C include sharing needles and devices for tattooing or piercing, the use of medical devices previously used on an infected person and well-sterilized, unprotected sex, and pregnancy and childbirth.

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is a liver disease that occurs acutely and chronically and caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). However, hepatitis D infection cannot occur without hepatitis B, as it requires HBV for replication. The presence of both infections simultaneously is considered the most severe form of chronic viral hepatitis. Its rapid progress can lead to death. The only way to prevent this infection is to get vaccinated against Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis D infection occurs in the same way as hepatitis B, which occurs in contact with the blood of an infected person. People with hepatitis B infection and those who are not immune to HBV are at risk of hepatitis D.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) causes hepatitis E disease.

There are four different types of genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

The first two genotypes are found only in humans, while the other two are also found in animals. 

The virus is carried in the feces of an infected person and can enter another human body through contaminated water. 

Most of the time, Hepatitis E infection gets better on its own, and the person recovers in two to six weeks. 

In rare cases, however, a person may develop acute liver failure, and eventually, the patient may die. Liver transplantation can be a life-saving procedure in such situations.

In addition to the mentioned risk factors, other risk factors for hepatitis infection include drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, repeated exposure to toxic chemicals, and the use of some over-the-counter medications.

References

  1. WHO
  2. Hepatitis Foundation Internation

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