Hepatitis is generally classified into 5 categories which are referred to as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. the essence of this classification is as a result of the causative virus which differs from one to another but all are virally transmitted. The first type of Hepatitis which is referred to as Hepatitis A happens to be acute when suffered by the patient with its short-term effects while Hepatitis B, C, and D hold the tendency to have chronic effects on the patient.
For easy understanding, the five types of Hepatitis would be explained below alongside their striking features which a lot of people fail to acknowledge.
This infection is occasioned by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and has often been reported to be as a result of consuming contaminated water or food via feces from another infected person. The symptoms which a person may experience when he or she has been infected are fever, light stool, jaundice or dark urine. Worthy of note is the fact that Hepatitis A is often mild and the majority of its patients end up with a full recovery and shield against the virus in future.
When Hepatitis A is neglected, the infected person may develop other symptoms which may be life-threatening and severe. In addition to the symptoms of Hepatitis A, one can easily manage them because it happens to be a short-term disease. One of the easy management methods includes a suitable bed rest which is usually recommended when the patient experiences a great deal of discomfort. Another management method is the use of Hepatitis A vaccine which is available and administered to children between 12 and 18 months of age.
This type of Hepatitis is transmitted via bodily fluids like vaginal secretions, semen, or blood which has been infected with the Hepatitis B virus. The risk of being infected by the virus can also be increased in persons who have unprotected sex with an infected partner, use an injection of any sort or shares sharp objects with an infected person.
According to the CDC, it has been reported that about 1.2 million in the U.S and 350 million persons in the world are infected with the disease. Some of the symptoms which an infected patient may experience in the circumstance include:
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
When any of these symptoms are experienced, a diagnosis would be necessary so as to know the best steps to be taken.
One can contract this type of Hepatitis from the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) which is also transmitted via bodily fluids and sexual contacts. Statistics according to the CDC also shows that about 2.7 to 3.9 million Americans are infected with the disease which goes to show that Hepatitis C may also be managed with the use of antiviral medications which can cure both the acute and chronic stages. It is important to add that Hepatitis C has no vaccine yet and one is expected to exercise adequate care to shield against it.
People have often referred to it also as delta hepatitis as it is caused by the Hepatitis D virus. This Hepatitis is also uncommon in the United States. It is majorly contracted via contacts with the blood of an infected person. It also happens to be a rare form of Hepatitis and no antiviral medication currently exist for its management. The surprising twist which is worthy of note is that Hepatitis D may be prevented with the Hepatitis B vaccine simply because the development of Hepatitis D is occasioned by the initial presence of Hepatitis B.
This form of Hepatitis differs with significant qualities from others as it is a water-borne disease that is occasioned by the Hepatitis E virus (HEV). Poor sanitation is one of the platforms for the habitation of the virus alongside contaminated water supply. This type of disease is also uncommon in the United States just like Hepatitis D but cases of its existence have been reported over time, in Asia, Middle East, and Africa, according to the Centres for Disease Control. Infected persons are advised to utilize prescribed methods like drinking plenty of fluids, getting adequate rest, avoiding alcohol, and eating nutritious foods for the effective management of the condition.
General prevention of the types of Hepatitis
All the types of Hepatitis can be prevented with various kinds of adopted activities which would go a long way in saving the treatment challenges. They include:
- A consistent wash of hands after the use of toilets
- Regular vaccination before traveling to places where there are prevalent or existing pandemic
- The practice of safe sex
- Use of only sterilized sharp objects
- Moderate or no consumption of alcohol.
One is sure to stay clear of all types of Hepatitis if the above measures are adopted alongside due observation of one’s environment and system so as to disallow the early symptoms from developing to the severe medical condition. Health, truly, is wealth.