Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It is usually caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes, such autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a result of heavy alcohol use, certain medications, drugs and toxins.
There are five types of hepatitis such as A, B, C, D, and E. Types A, B, and C are the most common. Moreover, viral hepatitis is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 1.34 million deaths every year, that’s as many as HIV, tuberculosis or malaria. Together, hepatitis B and C cause 80% of liver cancer cases in the world.
Types of Hepatitis
As mentioned above, there are five different types of hepatitis. Each is caused by a different virus, and the type of virus affects how severe the disease is and how long it will last. Moreover, Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, while hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to become long-term and chronic and Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.
This type of Hepatitis is caused by an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from a person infected with hepatitis A. The disease is often common in countries that lack safe drinking water facilities and sanitation. Moreover, in lots of cases it is mild, and most people make a full improvement and remain immune from further HAV infections. However, it can also be severe and life-threatening.
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is transmitted through contact with infective blood, semen, and other body fluids. HBV can spread by sexual contact, the transfer of blood through shared needles in drug users, blood transfusions, hemodialysis, and by infected mothers to their newborns. Additionally, the infection can also spread by tattooing, body piercing, and sharing razors and toothbrushes. The liver of a person infected with HBV swells and severe damage can result. HBV infections can become chronic and can lead to complications, including scarring of the liver or cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is usually transmitted through contact with infected body fluids, especially blood. HCV infection usually spreads through unsafe injection practices, inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, and use of unscreened blood and blood products. Furthermore, it can lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Hepatitis D is rare form of hepatitis, caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). Also called Delta hepatitis, it is usually contracted through direct contact with infected blood, and spreads essentially the same ways as HBV. HDV infection occurs only in those people who are already infected with HBV. Moreover, the Hepatitis D virus can’t multiply without the presence of Hepatitis B. The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in severe disease and worse outcome.
Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus(HEV). Like hepatitis A, hepatitis E is primarily spread through consuming contaminated food and water. HEV is a common cause of hepatitis outbreaks. Epidemics usually occur where there is a lack of safe water and poor sanitation.