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Hepatitis –Types, Symptoms and Causes

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Hepatitis related image Photo: Getty Images

Hepatitis is a viral infection that results in the inflammation of liver tissues and sometimes even scarring or cirrhosis of the liver. WHO statistics speak of the prevalence of the disease: Hepatitis A infects 1.4 million people annually, hepatitis B victimizes 600,000 each year. (Source: World Health Organization; Report Title: Hepatitis A; Revised: August 2008; URL: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs328/en/index.html) Similar numbers are reflected for hepatitis C (4 million carriers in Europe alone), D and E.

Hepatitis A Causes:
• Hepatitis A virus (HAV)
• Sex with someone infected with HAV
• Drinking contaminated food, eating contaminated food
• Association with a person infected with HAV
• Receiving blood from an HAV patient
• Poor hygiene and sanitation standards

Hepatitis A Symptoms:
• Fatigue
• Abdominal pain, especially around liver
• Nausea
• Muscle pain
• Fever
• Appetite loss
• Vomiting
• Jaundice - yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
• Bile is removed from blood stream and excreted in urine, giving it a dark amber color
• Clay-colored feces and
• Itching

Hepatitis B Causes:
There are 200,000 to 300,000 cases of reported hepatitis per year in the U.S alone. The disease is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) which spreads through body fluids such as blood, vomit, semen, vaginal fluids, saliva, urine, etc. Ways in which HBV spreads: (Source: PubMed Health; Report Title: Hepatitis B; Author: National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001324/)
• Receiving blood in a transfusion situation from infected person
• Contact with blood, especially in health care settings
• Sexual contact with an infected person
• Use of unclean needles or instruments for tattoos, drugs and acupuncture
• Sharing of personal items such as toothbrushes, razors, etc., with an infected person
• Transmission of HBV during childbirth from mother to infant

Hepatitis B Symptoms:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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