6 Tips on Hepatitis
- Five different hepatitis viruses have been identified: type A; type B; type C; type D, or delta virus; and type E. Type A is probably the most prevalent type of viral hepatitis worldwide, followed by types B, E, C, and D.
- Hepatitis A and E are transmitted through fecally contaminated food or water. Other modes of transmission include needle sharing among intravenous drug abusers; maternal transmission; and transmission by blood transfusion.
- A simple blood test is used to determine that a person has one or more of the different types of hepatitis.
- Acute hepatitis is typically characterized by flu-like symptoms (including fever, headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting) and jaundice. Chronic hepatitis is often asymptomatic.
- Vaccines are available to protect against hepatitis A and B. Additionally, immune globulin for hepatitis A or hepatitis B is recommended when someone has been exposed to an infected person.
- Among the ways to care for your liver are: limiting alcohol consumption; avoiding liver- damaging drugs; avoiding use of illegal drugs; avoiding high doses of vitamins unless prescribed; avoiding tattoos and the sharing of razors; not eating raw shellfish from questionable sources; and carefully following directions for use of toxic substances (e.g., cleaning products).