Understanding the 5 Kinds of Hepatitis

Differences between the Five Hepatitis Viruses

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Hepatitis is referred to as inflammation of the liver. This condition might progress into fibrosis, liver cancer or cirrhosis. The main causes of hepatitis are the hepatitis viruses, although there are also other grounds, including toxic substances, infections as well as autoimmune diseases.

Hepatitis comes from five viruses – the hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. The hepatitis viruses are all of great concern due to the difficulty in management and possibility of death.

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C result in chronic illnesses, which currently attack millions of individuals. These types are also considered major sources of cancer and liver cirrhosis.

Differences between the Five Hepatitis Viruses

Understanding the differences of the five hepatitis viruses will enable you to determine and fare with the type of hepatitis you have. This knowledge enables you to know more about effective treatments that you can employ in order to remedy the disease. The hepatitis types A, B, C, D and E are all different from each other. They do not have the same level of severity, and the treatment for these types of hepatitis is not always similar. There are instances that the treatment for hepatitis C is not effective for patients with hepatitis B. Also, the indications for these five types of hepatitis are not always the same.

The hepatitis types A and E are said to be caused by the ingestion of polluted or contaminated water or food, while the hepatitis type B, type C and type D occur because of the parenteral contact of such diseased body fluids.

The usual modes of diffusion for the hepatitis viruses include the delivery of the contaminated blood products or blood, and intrusive medical procedures through the use of contaminated equipment. The transmission for hepatitis type B can occur in families through genetics, or sexual contact. Acute infections occur with no symptoms, except maybe hepatitis symptoms such as jaundice or yellowish color or eyes and skin, extreme fatigue, dark urine, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Five Hepatitis Viruses

  1. HAV or Hepatitis A virus – This is present in the infected person’s feces and is also transmitted by means of the consumption of unclean food and water. Sexual intercourse can contribute to the dispersal of HAV. The infections for this type of hepatitis can be mild, wherein most affected people can easily recover and enable their immune system to get rid of HAV infections. However, HAV should still be taken very seriously because there’s a great possibility that HAV may be severe or threaten your life. You can foil the production of HAV through effective and safe vaccines.
  2. HBV or Hepatitis B virus – This virus is transmitted by means of too much exposure of infective semen, blood and some body fluids. This can also be transferred from mothers to babies during birth. The transfer of the virus may also occur by means of the HBV blood products, contaminated blood transfusions and other medical procedures. These types of hepatitis possess risk to the healthcare personnel who are surviving with accidental injuries at the time they’re caring for the infected hepatitis B patients. HBV can be barred through effective and safe vaccines.
  1. HCV or Hepatitis C virus –It occurs through the transfusions of HCV blood products and contaminated blood, as well as contaminated injections done during the medical procedures and injections of drugs. Sexual contact is also one of the causes, but it is not that common. There’s no available vaccine available for HCV.
  2. HDV or Hepatitis D virus – This infection occurs in those who are already diagnosed with HBV. HDV and HBV may lead to more severe disease and even death. The vaccines for hepatitis B deliver protection to HDV infection.
  3. HEV or Hepatitis E virus – This virus can be transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food and water. This is a common reason of the hepatitis outbreaks. Effective and safe vaccines will greatly contribute to the prevention of HEV infection in a given population. However, for some, vaccines are not always readily available.

Vaccinations

If you don’t want to have hepatitis, vaccination is the only way to prevent it. Hepatitis A and B have available vaccines but hepatitis C, D and E, do not always have efficient and safe vaccines. Effective vaccines for hepatitis E already exist and medical specialists are doing their best to ripen vaccines for hepatitis C. If you don’t want to have severe health conditions, it would be better to avoid coming into contact with any pertinent substance that could be infected.

Source:

Langer BC, Frösner GG, von Brunn A. Epidemiological study of viral hepatitis types A, B, C, D and E among Inuits in West Greenland. J Viral Hepat. 1997 Sep;4(5):339-49. Ozbek OA, Oktem MA, Dogan G, Abacioglu YH. J Eval Clin Pract. 2004 Nov;10(4):519-23.

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