5 Things you should know about viral hepatitis


1. Viral hepatitis can be fatal

Viral hepatitis types A, B, C, D, and E can cause infection and subsequent liver inflammation that can lead to serious diseases, including liver cancer, or even death. 
People who contract hepatitis A and E almost always recover and do not need treatment. 
In the case of the B, C, and D viruses, the infection can become chronic and some patients may die of liver cancer or cirrhosis. However, if the infection is detected in time, it can be treated. 
Patients with the hepatitis C virus can recover completely. 
There are vaccines that protect against viral hepatitis A, B, D and E.

2. Some hepatitis viruses can also be transmitted sexually

Hepatitis B, C, and D can be transmitted through blood, semen, and other body fluids. This means that these viruses can be transmitted during unprotected sex.
The hepatitis B virus is ten times more infectious than HIV. 
A pregnant woman who has hepatitis B can transmit the virus to her child during birth. Administering the hepatitis B vaccine to newborns during the first 24 hours after birth is the most effective measure for protecting babies. 
Viral hepatitis A and E are often transmitted through unsafe water, contaminated food, and poor sanitation.

3. Do not share syringes or razors

Viral hepatitis B, C, and D can be transmitted through an infected person's body fluids. People who inject drugs have a high risk of infection, since they sometimes share syringes. 
In order to avoid the risk of infection, do not share razors, syringes, or unsterilized instruments used for tattooing or piercing. 
Health services should always use safe syringes. 
Never share syringes. 

4. Everyone over the age of 40 should be tested for the hepatitis C virus

Before the 1990s, blood transfusions were not screened to detect viral hepatitis. Therefore, it is recommended that all people over the age of 40 be given a blood test to determine if they are carriers of the virus. 

People who have received a blood transfusion in a country that does not screen for viral hepatitis should also be tested. 

5. Hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis without apparent symptoms

The hepatitis C virus can remain in a person's blood for up to 20 years without apparent symptoms, until it causes inflammation and damage to the liver, which can develop into chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. The good news is that hepatitis C can be cured. Today there are effective medicines that allow patients to make a full recovery in three months.