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Facts about Hepatitis A, B & C

Hepatitis is a major issue that is gripping the world. Latest studies by WHO highlight that there are more than 52 million Indians infected with Hepatitis at present and majority of them are not diagnosed for the same. The most common forms of Hepatitis found in India are Hepatitis A, B and C. A staggering 95% of people infected with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected and therefore, succumb to liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. According to WHO, one reason for this is because people can live without symptoms for many years and when they find out they have hepatitis, it is often too late for treatment to be fully effective. As a result, liver damage leads to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hence it is important for people to know about each type of Hepatitis and how the same spreads. The rising numbers make the aspect of prevention also equally important.

Hepatitis A :

Facts about Hepatitis A, B & C

  • This virus spreads when a person ingests food or water which is contaminated with the feces of other infected person. This generally happens when a person is unvaccinated.
  • This disease is related with contaminated water or food, inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene.
  • Unlike other types of hepatitis, this infection does not cause any chronic liver disease.
  • This infection is caused by Hepatitis A virus that occurs worldwide. It is transmitted by oral route and is characterized with nausea, anorexia and fever which subside when jaundice appears. It is usually self limited and treatment course is only supportive case.
  • Infection confirms lifelong immunity. Hence vaccination for the same is strongly recommended.

Hepatitis B:

  • It is a serious disease which harms the liver. The virus spreads from person to person when their body’s fluids touch this. It can happen in various ways, like having sex/sharing needles/tooth brush/razors/ tattooing/mother to child including blood test.
  • The treatment includes medicines/injections/interferon. Liver transplant is needed is case of liver failures.

Hepatitis C:

  • It is caused by Hepatitis C virus infection. It can happen from contact with infected blood eg. Sharing drug needles/blood transfect ion etc .
  • Symptoms include swelling in the belly and legs jaundice etc.

Treatment depends on what type of hepatitis C you have. There are different medicines to treat hepatitis C.