In the world today, especially in the United States, research has shown that the rate at which people get tested for STDs are on the increase confirming that there are diseases that can be transmitted from one person to another if proper medical measures are not be adhered to.
This connects us to infectious Hepatitis which is an inflammation of the liver and is usually caused by the Hepatitis virus. This condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer.
As much as Hepatitis viruses are the major cause of Hepatitis, there are other infections, autoimmune diseases, or toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain hard drugs) that also cause Hepatitis.
The types of Hepatitis Virus
There are five main types of Hepatitis viruses which are type:
- Hepatitis A. This type is mostly transmitted during the consumption of food or water contaminated by feces of an infected person. The infection of Hepatitis A is not long-lasting and it barely causes any complications. The infected liver heals in approximately two months.
- Hepatitis B is transmitted when a person comes in contact with infectious body fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions, or blood containing the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Using contaminated needles, having sex with an infected person or sharing razor blades with an infected person heightens one's risk of contracting Hepatitis B. Also, it causes a long-term infection which causes severe damage to the liver.
- Hepatitis C. This type of virus is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluid, mainly through the use of injectable drugs, intravenous drugs, and sexual contacts. Most people with this type of Hepatitis do not show any symptoms which sometimes progresses to cirrhosis and scarring of the liver. About 25% of persons that contract Hepatitis C virus would eventually become healed because the virus can go on its own without treatment. While In other cases, it sticks around for years and when that happens, the liver will get damaged.
- Hepatitis D, which can also be referred to as Delta Hepatitis, is transmitted through direct contact with infectious blood. The Hepatitis D virus only occurs in line with Hepatitis B Virus. It is a rare form of Hepatitis which does not multiply except there is a presence of Hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis E, on the other hand, is a water-borne Hepatitis which can only be found in areas with very poor sanitation.
The Causes of Infectious Hepatitis
The Infectious agents of Hepatitis include:
- Viruses. A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria.
- Parasites. These parasites infect the liver and activate an immune response, which results in acute Hepatitis with increased cerium.
- Bacteria. The presence of bacteria causes damage that usually results in pyogenic liver abscesses, acute Hepatitis, granulomatous or chronic liver disease. Chronic Hepatitis infection comes in the form of mycobacteria species, Tropheryma Whipple Treponema Pallidum, Coxiella Brunette, and Rickettsia species.
- Alcohol. When alcohol is excessively consumed, it causes cirrhosis. Hepatitis usually develops over the years due to constant exposure to alcohol.
- Toxic and drug-induced intakes. Various chemical agents, including medications, industrial toxins, herbal, and dietary supplements can cause infectious Hepatitis. The spectrum of drug induces liver injury through a variety of mechanisms, including direct cell damage, destruction of cell metabolism and structural change.
Treatment of Infectious Hepatitis
Infectious Hepatitis can be treated if the right dosage of medication prescribed by the physician is properly adhered to. Some types of Hepatitis do not require treatment as they disappear within few months with the proper amount of hydration and rest.
In cases of chronic or acute infections, treatment is required. Where there is a case of acute infection which has occasioned severe damage to the liver, a liver transplant may be required. In rare and most severe acute cases, patients have successfully been treated with antiviral therapy, equivalent to that used in cases of chronic Hepatitis B, with nucleoside analogs such as entecavir or tenofovir.
Drugs like adefovir (Hepsera), interferon, lamivudine, telbivudine, tenofovir (Viread), etc., are used to treat chronic Hepatitis infections as well as other drug combinations which are used and have been found to be very effective in combating acute infectious Hepatitis.
Furthermore, other drugs for Hepatitis C, which may be better tolerated include:
- Daclatasvir ( Daklinza)
- Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni )
- Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi )
- Elbasvir ( Zepatier )
- Simeprevir (Olysio )
As a matter of fact, infectious Hepatitis is very dreadful to the health because if not managed properly, can infect others too. For this reason, timely treatment is suggested which serves as a reliable remedy.
So, do well to take the right medications if infected and more so, always visit the hospital for a regular checkup because some infectious Hepatitis symptoms may not show in the body.