Eric Hesch is a leading gastroenterologist and hepatologist and has been in this field for many years. Eric Hesch explains that all the hepatitis viruses are different from each other but all of them attack the liver, which is responsible for performing vital functions in the body like fighting infection and cleansing blood.
There are five different types of hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D and E; but the most common in USA are A, B and C. However, B and C are much more dangerous than A and can become chronic conditions.
The possible symptoms of all types of hepatitis can be fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea or joint pain.
Other symptoms include grey bowel movements, as well as jaundice.
The initial symptom of hepatitis may be disregarded as the flu.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that around 2.7 to 3.9 million residents of USA are infected with chronic hepatitis C. It can be easily spread through contact with blood that is infected. The causes can be: usage of contaminated syringes or sexual contact, which is less common. People who had a blood transfusion prior to July 1992 may also be at a risk of hepatitis C.
On the other hand, according to the CDC, between 850,000 and 2.2 million residents of USA are affected by chronic hepatitis B. The most common ways of spreading this form of hepatitis is through sexual contact with a partner who is infected or from an infected mother to the child when giving birth. It can also be spread by blood, as well as semen.
The difference between an acute or chronic condition is that the former lasts under six months, while the latter is long-term and lasts for more than six months.
A chronic condition of hepatitis B rarely progresses to chronic hepatitis B. However, an acute condition of hepatitis C develops into chronic hepatitis C.
Most people may not even notice symptoms of acute hepatitis C and symptoms are noticeable in only fifteen percent of cases.
Hepatitis is discovered by a blood test screening.
In case of hepatitis B, the doctor may resort to a confirmation test in order to check for hepatitis B antigen.
In the case of hepatitis C, a confirmation test is needed to check the amount of hepatitis C RNA in one’s blood.
It is also possible to have both hepatitis viruses at the same time.
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C but it can be prevented by not sharing razors or needles with infected people.
Eric Hesch informs that hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination. It is basically recommended for people who have HIV, infants, children who have not been vaccinated, people with multiple sex partners, etc. Alcohol consumption should be halted in case of hepatitis in order to prevent further liver damage, and consulting a doctor is must.
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