Viral Hepatitis: Definition, Causes, and Treatment

The term “hepatitis” refers to liver inflammation, which affects the organ’s functions of processing important nutrients, fighting dangerous infections, and filtering blood. Various factors could cause hepatitis, but viruses are the most likely provokers. In the USA, the most widespread types of viral hepatitis are A, B, and C (Dwivedi & Rathore, 2020). However, there are also D and E types of viruses causing hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis could spread through water and food contaminated by fecal matter. E-type could be acquired by eating undercooked shellfish, the meat of deer, and pigs (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2021). B, C types, and D, a satellite to B-type, spread through contact with infected blood (Dwivedi & Rathore, 2020). B and C hepatitis could also be transferred through other fluids of a body during unprotected sex and utilizing contaminated equipment. Therefore, people with multiple sex partners, individuals who have hemophilia, intravenous drug addicts, and health care professionals are in the risk groups.

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Infected people could not be aware of their disease: a chronic infection manifests itself several years later. However, people with acute hepatitis could feel fever, nausea, and fatigue during the period between two weeks to six months after exposure (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2021). Manifestations could also include pains in the abdomen and joints, loss of appetite, jaundice, grey-colored stool, and dark urine (Dwivedi & Rathore, 2020). The outcome for patients depends on the type of the acquired virus. Most people with A-type recover without serious liver damage, while patients with hepatitis B or C could develop chronic infection (Dwivedi & Rathore, 2020). Viral hepatitis could cause other health problems connected with the liver. These complications include liver failure, cirrhosis, and cancer, which could be prevented by early diagnostics and treatment measures.

Medical intervention includes a physical examination, studying of symptoms and medical history, blood testing, imaging testing, and a liver biopsy to make an accurate diagnosis. There are vaccines only to prevent A and B types (Dwivedi & Rathore, 2020). Treatment depends on hepatitis’ nature (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2021). Patients with acute hepatitis could get only supportive care and sometimes antivirals, while patients with chronic hepatitis might need surgery procedures, including liver transplantation.

References

Dwivedi, H., & Rathore, G. S. (2020). Virus hepatitis (world monster). Walnut Publication.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2021). Hepatitis. MedlinePlus.

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