Hepatitis refers to the inflammation in the liver which is usually caused due to viral infection, though there are other possible causes of hepatitis. Viruses that primarily attack the liver are the hepatitis viruses which include hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, and G. Hepatitis A, B and C are the most common types of viruses. Viral hepatitis has become a major health concern affecting many people. It is a matter of concern and therefore immediate medical attention should be given to the person suffering from this condition.
The liver is a vital organ and is the second largest part of the body which helps in processing the food. The liver converts food into nutrients and energy for the body. It filters the harmful substances from the body and also fights and eliminates the infection from the body. Viral infection may affect the liver and damage the organ. The treatment options for viral hepatitis may vary from person to person as it may depend on the cause of the infection.
There are 5 types of viral hepatitis. They are:
Hepatitis A infection is caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV) and this is commonly transmitted by the consumption of contaminated food and water. The food may be contaminated with the fecal matter by a person suffering from the infection.
Hepatitis B infection is caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) and it is transmitted through wounds, or when a healthy person comes in contact with infectious body fluids such as semen, saliva and blood. Using unhygienic syringes, unprotected sex, sharing razors and needles may cause this type of infection.
Hepatitis C infection is caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) and it is transmitted through the direct contact through syringes used for injection and sexual contact. Hepatitis C virus is the most common blood-borne viral infections among all the other types of infections.
Hepatitis D infection is caused by hepatitis D virus (HDV) and this type of infection is also transmitted by wounds and sexual intercourse. It is a rare type of infection which occurs in combination with hepatitis B infection.
Hepatitis E infection is caused by hepatitis E virus (HEV) and this type of infection is observed in places with poor sanitation. It is the most uncommon type of hepatitis infection.
The signs and symptoms of viral hepatitis are:
Alcohol and autoimmune diseases may cause non-viral hepatitis. Consumption of alcohol may damage the liver and causes the liver to swell. This is referred to as alcoholic hepatitis. Apart from these two causes various other viruses cause different types of viral hepatitis infection. Hepatitis A and E are mainly transmitted through contaminated food and drinks. Hepatitis B, C and D are transmitted through contaminated blood.
The treatment for viral hepatitis may depend on the cause of the infection.
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