SUMMARY OF HEPATITIS; A, B, D, C, & E:
Hepatitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver, usually producing swelling and, in many cases, permanent damage to liver tissues. A number of different agents can cause hepatitis, including infectious diseases, chemical poisons, drugs and alcohol. Viral hepatitis refers to a set of at least six viruses that are known to cause hepatitis: hepatitis A (HAV), hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis D (HDV), hepatitis E (HEV), and hepatitis G (HGV). Recent scientific evidence also suggests the existence of other, as yet unidentified hepatitis viruses.
The most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, and hepatitis C. Both hepatitis B and C can lead to serious, permanent liver damage, and in many cases, death.
There are two primary types of viral hepatitis, food-borne and blood-borne hepatitis. The former, which is spread through contaminated food and water, does not cause chronic liver disease. By contrast, blood borne viral hepatitis may lead to long-term, persistent infections and chronic liver disease that has lethal consequences many years after infection.
Hepatitis A: is an acute liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), lasting from a few weeks to several months. It does not lead to chronic infection.
Transmission: Ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from close person-to-person contact or ingestion of contaminated food or drinks.
Vaccination: Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for all children starting at age 1 year, travelers to certain countries, and others at risk.
Hepatitis B: Is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It ranges in severity from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks (acute), to a serious long-term (chronic) illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.
Transmission: Contact with infectious blood, semen, and other body fluids from having sex with an infected person, sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs, or from an infected mother to her newborn.
Vaccination: Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, older children and adolescents who were not vaccinated previously, and adults at risk for HBV infection.
Hepatitis C: is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV infection sometimes results in an acute illness, but most often becomes a chronic condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Transmission: Contact with the blood of an infected person, primarily through blood-blood/broken skin contact.
Vaccination: There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis D- Is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV) and relies on HBV to replicate.
Transmission: Contact with infectious blood, similar to how HBV is spread.
Vaccination: There is no vaccine for hepatitis D.
Hepatitis E- Is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV) that usually results in an acute infection. It does not lead to a chronic infection. Hepatitis E is fairly common in many parts of the world.
Transmission: Ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts; outbreaks are usually associated with contaminated water supply in regions with poor sanitation.
Vaccination: There is no currently approved vaccine for hepatitis E.