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Hepatitis: Types, Symptoms, & Diagnosis

  • July 25,2022
  • 2 Min Read
Hepatitis: Types, Symptoms, & Diagnosis

The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections in the body. Inflammation of the liver is called hepatitis. 

This could occur due to several reasons like infection with hepatitis viruses, heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions. 

The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.  
“Hepatitis viruses are the MOST COMMON cause of Hepatitis.”

 

What are the different hepatitis viruses and common modes of transmission?

Hepatitis is most often caused by a virus, there are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D, and E.
 

Types of hepatitis viruses

Common mode of transmission

Hepatitis A virus (HAV)

  • Present in the feces of infected persons and is most often transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food.
  • Infections are in many cases mild however can also be severe and life threatening if not diagnosed early.
  • Commonly observed in people living with poor sanitation practices. 

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) 

  • Transmitted through exposure to contaminated or infected blood, semen, and other body fluids.
  • Or from infected mothers to infants at the time of birth. 
  • Poses a risk to healthcare workers who sustain accidental needle stick injuries. Vaccines are available to prevent HBV.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) 

  • Transmitted mostly through exposure to infective blood or contaminated injections and needles. 
  • Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common. There is no vaccine for HCV.

Hepatitis D virus (HDV) 

  • Occurs only in those who are infected with HBV.
  • Hepatitis B vaccines provide protection from HDV infection.

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) 

  • Transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. 
  • Found increasingly in developing countries, vaccines for HEV prevention are available but not widely around the world. 

Adapted from: Hepatitis.(2019, September 1).World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/hepatitis  

Hepatitis Symptoms:

Hepatitis many times does not show symptoms and hence goes undetected in many people for weeks.

 

Symptoms of hepatitis can include: 

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea & vomiting
 

In case of acute infection, symptoms can appear anytime from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure.  Furthermore, symptoms of chronic viral hepatitis can take even decades to develop. 
 

TIMELY DIAGNOSIS IS THE KEY TO PREVENTION!

 

Suburban Diagnostics offers a comprehensive hepatitis profile, includes:

  1. Anti HAV (Hepatitis A Virus) Antibody, IgM, Serum 
  2. HBsAg (Hepatitis B Surface Antigen), Serum 
  3. Anti HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) Antibody, Serum 
  4. Anti HEV (Hepatitis E Virus) Antibody, IgM, Serum
 

Consult your physician today to know the right course of action and treatments.

 
 

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