August is Hepatitis awareness month Hepatitis, a highly contagious infection, causing inflammatory conditions to the liver. Some types have no treatments and still very present in modern day society. There are various types of hepatitis including: type A, B, C, D, and E and important to educate yourself about all the strains of hepatitis to prevent infection. All of which have different ways of being virally transmitted as well as different symptoms and treatment.
Hepatitis A, started by virus HAV, is caused by a viral infection most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from another infected with hepatitis A. It has short-term effects, which usually requires no treatment and has flu-like symptoms. There is a vaccine for hepatitis A given in a series of two injections, 6 to 12 months apart. Always washing your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom is a simple way to prevent infection.
You can only get this strain of hepatitis transmitted through blood or other body fluids. Hepatitis B, otherwise known as HBV, is estimated to be 600 years old. Over time Hepatitis B has adapted to humankind making it difficult to spot any symptoms at all. If HBV is left untreated it can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis both of which has the potential to be fatal. Around 2.2 million Americans have HBV: however, only 25 percent of adults are vaccinated against the disease. In recent years, scientist have innovated the HBV vaccine to only two shots within a month time span.
Hepatitis C or HCV is a blood borne virus, meaning you can only contract the virus by coming into contact with the blood of someone who already has it. This virus shows zero symptoms because HCV is able to reduce the immune systems response. HCV can be both acute and chronic all depending on how fast you treat the virus. Due to the fact HCV has little to no noticeable symptoms more than half infected with HCV end up with chronic health problems such as liver damage. So far there are no vaccines available to prevent hepatitis C.
Out of the five strains hepatitis D is considered the most severe because it requires hepatitis B to duplicate itself. In other words you need HBV in order to get HDV. The only treatment of HDV is treating for HBV first. Some symptoms include severe joint pain, dark urine, abdominal pain, and fatigue.
Like hepatitis A, HEV is spread through indirect fecal contaminated food and water. Hepatitis E, which is a short-term and self-resolving version of hepatitis and most common in countries where water and sanitation are sparse. This strain of hepatitis is associated with more intense liver damage and higher mortality rate than HAV. HEV has been connected to different meats such as boar, pork, and deer meat; therefore, it’s very important to toughly cook poultry. Usually Hepatitis E goes away on its own, but one day a shot could be available and is already licensed in China for tests.